All About Affirmations

affirmations[This article about affirmations first appeared in the AffirmingSpirit Newsletter in 2004. It has been revised and updated for the enjoyment of blog-readers.]

Regardless of what we want to accomplish or experience in our lifetimes, we need to have, and know how to use, the right tools. The proper tool not only assists you in doing the job right, it makes the process much easier. So it is with daily affirmations—a powerful tool to shift your attitude, energy level, and motivate you to make life changes.

The Origin of Affirmations

The exact origin of affirmations is unclear, although only the priests and elite members of ancient societies had the ability to read and write. It is believed that illiterate masses were taught snippets of scripture or prayer to repeat while doing their chores throughout the work day.

We can affirm a positive or a negative, so for the sake of this post, I’m referring to positive affirmations. What we focus upon, we expand…and affirmations allow us to consciously choose our focus.

In the 1800s, Émile Coué (French psychologist and pharmacist) became famous worldwide for his life-changing ‘auto-suggestions’. He was noticing that, despite being given the same medications, some of his patients were healing more quickly than others. As he talked to his patients he discovered that those who healed the quickest were very positive about their health and had very positive self-talk. Those patients in poor health spoke mostly about their problems and disappointments. Noticing this discrepancy, he wondered if he could teach his patients with poor health to have better self-talk.

Coué developed one simple affirmation, that he called an auto-suggestion, which he gave to all his ill patients along with their prescriptions:

Every day, in every way, I am getting better and better and better!

It soon became very clear which patients were using the affirmations, as they were the ones who recovered. That affirmation has become one of the most famous and often quotes. Mr. Coué went on to write and share his idea of auto-suggestion, which today we call affirmations.

Like any tool, affirmations work best when used properly and regularly.

The Most Powerful Affirmations Are:
1. Written in the present tense
as if what you desire has already appeared in your life.
2. Contain positive wording and do not contain words like no, not, don’t, can’t, won’t, etc., or words relating to what you are choosing to leave behind.
3. Evoke joy or an uplifting emotion when you read them. If they make you smile or giggle, that’s good, too!

Every human being is unique, so I have found that the best affirmations are those that are customized for each person’s interests and emotions. Are there some generic affirmations that feel good to read? Sure. But, they easily become ineffective because they stop producing a positive emotional response. If you have been doing affirmations without seeing a result, check to see if they adhere to the three guidelines above.

Here are the 5 ways that daily affirmations can be most effective:

1. Focusing/refocusing your attention
You attract into your life what you think about, and yet life in the 21st century is so fast-paced that we are constantly bombarded with conflicting messages. This is why so many people have chaotic lives. How can anyone stay focused on positive thoughts? Properly crafted affirmations help you stay focused upon, or refocus your attention upon, your consciously-chosen subject(s). Saying, reading, or thinking your affirmations every day will keep you on track, or get you back on track, with ease.

2. Shifting your attitude/energy
Scientists tell us that the world is made up entirely of energy, and that we can impact that energy with our thoughts. The energy you carry in your body can either be stressful and unhappy, or it can be joyful and uplifting. These thoughts that evoke emotions trigger the release of hormones that alter the chemical make-up of your body. The good news is that we get to choose which energy we want to carry, and we get to choose how we respond to external stimuli. Affirmations that evoke a positive or uplifting feeling are the perfect tool to ensure that you are carrying the kind of energy that makes you happy. The longer you use such affirmations, the more your body and mind will become accustomed to that energy. Over time, being joyful and happy will become a habit you won’t want to break! The next time you are feeling blue, start saying some of your favorite affirmations and you will see how quickly your energy shifts!

3. Releasing old thoughts that no longer serve you
All of us have, at one time or another, experienced something we’d rather not have experienced. As a result, we may have developed some thoughts or attitudes that keep us stuck in that past experience. For instance, someone who was not popular in high school may have convinced themselves that they don’t deserve appreciation or admiration from others. Of course, this is not true, but a past belief—so embedded into your mind that you don’t consciously think about it—can be dictating your present choices and attitudes. Such a person could begin with affirmations like… I naturally attract relationships with people who appreciate me…Everyone I know and meet loves to interact with me…People naturally enjoy my company and I enjoy being myself!

4. Creating new possibilities for happiness
Abraham, as seen in The Secret, has said that when you focus on what’s wrong in your life you only create more of what’s wrong in your life. However, if you momentarily ignore what you see around you and consciously focus on what you’d prefer to experience, you will, in that moment, begin opening the door for the new possibility of your preference. The mind does not know the difference between reality, a past experience, or imagination. Affirmations allow you to use AffirmingSpirit Affirmation Cardsthe power of your imagination to create new possibilities for your future happiness. Some people consider this praying, and in fact, it is believed that affirmations were first created when simple prayers were memorized by illiterate churchgoers. Worry and anger is praying for what you don’t want. Positive affirmations are praying for something you do want.

5. Attracting consciously rather than by default
Most people are taught that life is hard and everyone has to struggle for everything from happiness to money. This is just a past thought that has been passed along through the generations. As a result, most people expect to be miserable and have problems, and they attract just that. When you write your own affirmations, you get to choose how you want to feel and experience your life. That conscious choice, and the effort you make to say your affirmations regularly, means you are no longer living your life by default—tolerating whatever comes your way. Instead, your attention, energy, and thoughts are all focused in the same direction toward what you have consciously chosen to experience. That is a powerful and effective way to create a life you really want to live!

6. Establishing a Daily Affirmations Practice
Like any exercise for the body, affirmations are most effective when used daily. Most people cringe at this thought—until they put it into action and experience the results. Initially, you may need to read your Affirmations. But, soon, you will begin to know them by heart. At that point, you can say them while you are driving to or from work, during quiet times throughout the day, and while you are exercising.

It is not uncommon that when we first say an affirmation, it might feel awkward. Some people resist affirmations because they sound like a lie. We might not feel well, or be struggling, so affirming that we’re doing well in that moment can be a stretch. But as we continue to repeat an affirmation that lights us up, our consciousness will expand to include the idea the affirmation evokes. Repetition is important for this reason.

Author and speaker Chellie Campbell likes to do hers while she brushes her teeth. That way, she’s sure to have time to do her affirmations every day! I say them throughout the day, while exercising, driving, cleaning/tidying, and whenever else I feel inspired.

Find a time that works for you, and begin your daily practice. You may be surprised how easy—and effective— doing daily affirmations can be!

7. Taking Baby Steps Versus Quantum Leaps
If you are struggling from paycheck to paycheck, it may seem strange to say affirmations like I am a joyous multi-millionaire! While it absolutely is possible to make a quantum leap from being broke to being flush with money, if such an affirmation feels wrong to you on every level, then it won’t work. It’s very important, as Abraham constantly points out, to pay attention to how you feel. Affirmations are most powerful when they make you feel happy and uplifted, or at the very least: expansive.

It is important to note here that affirmations help us expand our consciousness, and that process often does FEEL awkward at the beginning. By the time an affirmation feels like it is already happening, that is an indication that your consciousness has expanded to incorporate the new idea. So, when you commit to an affirmation every day for a few weeks, and it still feels awkward, you might be trying to take a quantum leap in consciousness before you are ready.

For those who don’t quite feel ready for a quantum leap, their best approach to affirmations might be to make baby steps using ‘bridge’ affirmations that move you incrementally toward your desire. Instead of I am a joyous multi-millionaire!, start with a baby step—from where you are to where you want to go—that feels better and more doable. In this example, imagine yourself living comfortably off your current income, having money left over, and receiving raises that allow you to live even more comfortably. Good affirmations might be…Every day I am feeling better about my income!…My paychecks are lasting longer and longer!…My income is growing every day…Money flows easily to me, and I enjoy receiving extra money! Soon, you will find your mind can easily expand to accept ideas that previously seemed too extreme.

Afformations, made well known by Noah St. John’s book by the same name, are also helpful for people who struggle with using traditional affirmations. Afformations are affirmations in question form, often starting with ‘Why’. They work because they bypass the conscious thinking mind while triggering the subconscious mind to find the answers. Examples might be…Why am I feeling better about my income? Why are my paychecks lasting longer and longer? Why is my income growing every day? Why is money flowing easily to me?

Also, repeating a single word or a few words, rather than a phrase, can also help you tap into a higher vibration while bypassing your conscious thinking mind. For instance, you  might take the words ‘health, love, prosperity’ and repeat them slowly, mindfully for a few minutes several times a day, or during a meditation or while doing chores. When I do this, I find myself becoming aware of the health, love, and prosperity already present in my life.

Follow Your Intuition
The bottom line is that YOU know which affirmations feel best for YOU. Yes, you really do! When something is right for you, it feels good…joyous…oh-so-right! Focus on the choices that feel really good, let Source speak to you, and follow your intuition to your perfect path. Whether they are quantum leaps or baby steps, customizing your affirmations to your level of joy is key to their effectiveness!

Need more help with your affirmations?
Trust your own feelings, as they are your personal guide to what is best for you. If you still feel you need help, download my free Six Steps to Powerful Affirmations eCourse which will guide you to write your most powerful affirmations. Feel free to share the link with your friends, too!

If you’re still needing help, I am happy to offer paid mentoring to help individuals overcome their unique blocks to getting the most from affirmations.

Have some positive experiences with affirmations? Share them with us in the comments section…

TRUST

What does trust mean to you and how are you currently experiencing trust in your life?

Where I am in complete trust, those areas of my life flow so easily. Where I do not trust, havoc seems to reign. This is not a coincidence, it is the law of attraction in action!

Like a Trusttuning fork resonating with the strings of the universe, our state of being is always being broadcast (through the body’s electro-magnetic field generated by the heart). With each heartbeat, your state of trust (or lack thereof) is telling the Universe how to mirror reality back to you.

Trusting is knowing…deep inside your heart…that ALL IS WELL. You may not know *how* situations will turn out, but you know they will. As a matter of course, they always do work out well, even if they work out in ways you may not have predicted or requested.

Allowing Trust

How do you cultivate trust when it isn’t automatically present? So many of us have been raised to believe we can only trust if what we are experiencing proves the situation is worth trusting. However, through my personal growth I began experiencing something different. In many cases, trust is something that bubbles up when we simply allow the possibility.

When we open to the possibility in our hearts and minds that we can begin trusting (whatever it is we want to experience), it’s amazing how the trust seems to bubble up from inside of us. Once we feel it, we know trust is possible. Christian Mystics call this the Christ Consciousness within, the divine energy force that flows through us, shifting based on how we are choosing to experience life. Whatever you call it, most of us have experienced this and it’s affect is undeniable!

If we are closed to trusting (someone or something), then our experience reflects that. The situation reverses when we open ourselves to trusting.

For instance, take something in your life you’ve been stressing about. Recognize the feeling you have in your body when you are stressing, and ask yourself:

What would I be feeling now if I knew this was all going to work out wonderfully? As that question hovers in your awareness, sit with it and feel the shift in your body’s energy. Notice how your body relaxes, and how trusting now feels more possible.

Soon, you will be finding yourself able to relax and trust in ways you didn’t even know were possible before! If you are familiar with Quantum Entrainment / Pure Awareness, try it on opening yourself to the possibility that all is working out beautifully for you.

Choosing Trust

You can live your life choosing to trust or not to trust. It’s always your choice to experience trust or the lack of it, and you are always free to make a new choice. You can live in doubt and worry, or you can live in trust. You can live in frustration and fear or you can trust.

For instance, I trust that I am always safe. Feeling safe and being safe are now a given. I have decided I am safe, and once I made that choice I began experiencing feeling safe more often. Even in circumstances that others would find harrowing, my inner compass trusts that “I am safe” and reminds me often. At one time in my life, this was not true. That’s how I know that we can choose something different and experience the result. I decided to choose trust. You can choose trust.

What are you choosing to trust?

Trusting Versus Taking For Granted

Know that trusting is not the same as taking something for granted. It’s a subtle vibrational difference, but it’s there: Trusting is a confident knowing inside and feels affirmative. Like you are saying “YES, that’s right!”

Taking something for granted, for me, feels ambivalent—like not caring. It’s not even important enough to choose or make a decision about. Many of us would admit that we take our government for granted. We expect it to run and focus on the things that matter to us, but we put virtually no effort toward seeing or experiencing our government improving. Then, we get mad when actions are taken that we don’t agree with.

What areas of your life do you take for granted?

Where could you begin trusting more, and taking less for granted?

As you contemplate the week ahead, I’d like to leave you with one other thought about trust. When you think of trust, think of this acronym…

T R U S T = Totally Relying Upon Superior Thoughts

Superior thoughts are those thoughts that feel good to contemplate. They raise your vibe and make you smile. They fill your heart with hope and possibility.

Now it’s your turn! What do you find easy to trust, and what helps you develop trust? Share your comments and suggestions below.

Choice Versus Money: A Powerful Lesson

Rikka ZimmermanEarlier today, I was listening to Rikka Zimmerman’s interview about the Access Consciousness process ~ a process that includes asking a series of questions to unlock the mind and also a clearing statement to remove limiting beliefs.

As I listened to this today, one of the most powerful things Rikka discusses is not putting “money before CHOICE”. What does that mean?

Putting money before choice is when…
You really want something with all your heart, whether an object or an experience, but before you allow yourself to entertain the idea of having or experiencing, you shut it down with negative thoughts like:

  • I (We) can’t afford it
  • That will never happen
  • There’s no way I’d be able to do that
  • I never get what I want, anyway
  • Everyone else’s needs come before mine
  • Fill in the blank…the excuse doesn’t matter because they all have the same affect of shutting down the possibility

How often do you put money before choice, or before what really makes your heart sing?

People who have continually have money make choices based on the outcome they prefer (choice), not the presence or availability of money, itself. In fact, many wealthy people will happily go into debt temporarily, using other people’s money in return for interest, in order to make even more money. That’s called investing.

The interesting thing about whether you can ‘afford’ an experience is that we can always AFFORD what we believe is possible. There is no shortage of money when we believe in the possibility of having or experiencing something we truly desire.

People who attract and always have a flow of money coming in not only know how to steward that money, how to invest it to make it grow, but they know that CHOICE always takes priority over money.

To be very clear: I’m not telling you to whip out your credit card and head to the nearest mall. Far from it.

What I am suggesting is that you first become fully conscious of how you feel and never put money before something you truly desire to experience. I am asking you to shift your focus from what you don’t have to what lights you up!

When you focus your attention FIRST on what lights up your heart…the Universe gets that signal and will knock itself out to bring you the experience or the money to purchase the experience! Either someone will offer the experience to you, or will hire you in a way that provides the money for the experience, or the money will make it’s way into your account.

The first time I realized this powerful truth, I really wanted to have solar panels installed on my home so that I would be generating electricity all year round. When I thought about the cost of the solar panels, I could feel the wind being sucked out of my lungs. I didn’t have any extra money for anything other than paying my bills. Just the thought of how much it cost made me want to forget about it all together!

However, the Abraham materials have taught me that emotions are important indicators of where we are vibrationally. When something feels good to think about, it means those thoughts are in alignment with what Source, or the greater part of you, feels about the same subject.

When I thought about having solar panels on the roof of my home, always generating electricity, it just lit me up inside. The feeling was infectious, expansive, delightful – it just felt really, really GOOD!

So, I stopped thinking about the cost, and focused my imagination on *seeing* those solar panels installed on my roof and knowing that they were always generating electricity for my home. Within 7 months I had the cash to pay for those solar panels in full. Every day, I am thrilled to know the solar panels are on my roof generating electricity and I am so happy that I put my choice above the money.

Money will come from wherever it is to wherever you want it, as long as you don’t put it before what lights you up and fills you with joy. Money is energy that is meant to serve you, not for you to become a slave to it. Putting your choice before money sends a signal to the Universe/Quantum Field about what makes you truly happy. The signals we send out are always answered. Life mirrors back to us what we think is possible based on where we are focusing our attention.

Now it’s your turn – I want to hear from you. Share your experiences putting choice before money below…

Showing Up for *FUN* (instead of work)

View this photographer's pageWhen you think or hear the word “work“, what goes through your mind? Do you automatically think hardship, difficulty, frustration, irritation?

What do you feel in your body? Do you feel angst and tension in your body? Maybe a feeling of dread?

When you think a thought often enough, it becomes a belief. When you hold a belief long enough, it becomes ingrained in the cells and tissues of your body. This is nature coding and preparing your body so you can act quickly in the face of potential danger. Instead of lions and tigers (OH MY!), these days most folks are facing stress and perceived danger from their health, relationships, and yes…their work.

Most of what we believe about work is what we were taught by the adults in our life when we were young. Most of us were taught that no one would pay you to do something fun. We were taught the big money comes from doing the hard, frustrating, dirty, and difficult jobs. Now that you are an adult, you get to ask yourself: Is what I have been taught about work REALLY true? Is there a different way to view work?

If you doubt there is a different way to look at work, remember how you felt about work when you had been out of work for a while.

Is it possible to show up for FUN (instead of work)?

Well, I not only think we can…I *KNOW* we can! But, first, showing up for fun (instead of work) starts with reprogramming our mind and body to view the work we do for a living in a different way. Chances are, you’ve been affirming (every day for many years) a lot of negative ideas about work.

There are lots of people every day who make good money doing work they enjoy and having fun along the way. In fact, the people who make really big money are often the ones having the most fun and saying things like, “I’d still do this work even if they didn’t pay me!” Who says you have to suffer and dislike your work experience? (Where you got the message that work had to be so unpleasant is much less important than making the decision NOW to experience more FUN, instead of work!)

To experience something different, it’s time to start affirming something different…something aligned with all the fun you ALREADY experience in your work! Put the spotlight on the fun you experience at work, for a change. Keep affirming the fun, and the universe will pick up on your new signal and begin mirroring it back to you!

Try this exercise:

• Write down all the ways in which you have fun in your current work

• Remember to include the social relationships and connections you have because you work

• Include the things about work you often laugh and joke about

• Post the list somewhere you can see it every day when getting ready for ‘work’ fun

• The next time the subject of work comes up in your mind or conversations, recall the list you’ve compiled

When you begin focusing on the FUN you have at work, you’ll start remembering it more, and attracting more FUN into your job every day. The more fun you attract and acknowledge, the more you’ll prepave FUN into your day! Give it a try.

NLP Practitioners tell us it takes at least 21 days of regularly repeating a new habit to create a new neural pathway in our brain. So, once you have your list, keep it handy and give it some attention every day for a good 30 days or more.

I’d love to read your stories about showing up for FUN instead of work? Share them below in the comments…

How Our Attitudes Mirror Our Life Experiences

A week ago, I found myself quietly picking lint balls off of freshly clean linen. After a while, I realized I was surprisingly happy doing this rather mundane task. A thought came to mind that one can be happy no matter what they are doing (must be what all those Buddhists have been telling us for centuries), as long as we have chosen a supportive mindset. With that thought in mind, I sent this tweet:

Fast forward to this evening. I just finished watching the BBC’s 1985 adaptation of George Bernard Shaw’s play “The Millionairess” starring Maggie Smith. At first blush, the plot was convoluted and bizaare. I kept checking and rechecking the Netflix movie synopsis to make sure I had the right movie because they didn’t seem to match. Eventually, the plot manages gets to the point, but at the end of the movie I found myself *enlightened*. Quite unexpectedly so, I might also add!

The play’s main character, Epifania, is a truly obnoxious millionairess with little-to-no social skills living in 1930s London. From a long line of banking magnates, Epifania the millionairess is stingy with her own money…but deep into the play, and almost at the point where I lost all interest, she decides to divorce her current husband to marry a Muslim doctor. Before they can do so, and in order to fulfill parental wishes, she must live as a pauper for 6 months, during which the husband-to-be must take $150£ and turn it into $50,000£. They are meet to again in 6 months to prove they have fulfilled the bargain.

Whether you intend to see this play or not, I don’t want to reveal the full plot except to say that it is quite revealing. Even when left to fend for herself with very little cash, she immediately discovers ways to make more money for her employers or even take over their businesses entirely. She makes bold decisions that turn out to be very savvy, proving that while she doesn’t have to work, she has learned a tremendous amount from her family’s banking business. Let’s just say, she doesn’t spend very much time being a pauper.

It reminded me of the real estate investment guy who claimed you can drop him anywhere in the U.S. with $100USD and he’d find a way to turn it into a fortune. Some people are like that: They see income opportunities where the rest of the world is counting up all the debt. Come to think of it, we need some of those people in the world right now!

What does this have to do with my tweet?

How you view your life is truly a metaphor for how you experience it.

If you believe life is hard, that’s how you will experience your life. If you believe your health is bad, that’s how you will experience your health. If you believe that you will always have to struggle to have money, that’s how you will experience money.

Choose to experience your life as easy, feel it in your heart, then it will morph into that experience! Choose to see and feel yourself healthy, and your cells will respond! Choose everyday to count your blessings, feel yourself as wealthy, and your bank account will mirror that shift!

In all the examples above, nothing has changed except your heart-centured *attitude*. Embrace an attitude that your life is blessed, and you will soon see evidence showing up all around you. Gregg Braden has explained this in terms of Quantum Possibilities. Western Science is now catching up with this knowledge, which indigenous and tribal cultures have known for centuries. Watch this video excerpt with Gregg Braden to understand how your heart-centered attitude creates your experiences:

If the above video interests you, you might also be interested in these clips of Gregg Braden from the same movie:
The Union of Thought and Emotion and The Language of Compassion.

Everything You Experience…Is a Blessing!

If the title of this post seems shocking or incorrect to you, then you are exactly the person who needs to read this entire post. Keep reading…

In western cultures, many are taught to believe that if anything happens to you that can be categorized as “bad”, it sucks and you rarely can do anything about it so it should be avoided at all costs. People struck by fear of such experiences buy insurance to protect themselves.

In eastern cultures, many are taught to believe that every life is destined for hardships, that they are unavoidable…that the noble seek them out, dwell in and suffer through them in order to grow in character. People struck by fear of such experiences perform rituals and buy objects to protect themselves despite the inevitability.

What if there is another reality…a greater truth?

What if the truth is: Everything you experience, regardless of how it is categorized (good, bad, happy, sad, miracle, or tragedy), is actually a blessing that will improve your life in unforeseen ways?

Think about the current struggles in your life. How would you live your life differently if you began making the assumption that each struggle is actually a great blessing for which you are grateful?

We know that what we think about, comes about. That where attention goes, energy flows. What does your future hold for you if you are always fearful, angry, frustrated, and worried? In contrast, what future experiences are you attracting if you are happy, grateful, and appreciative?

How would you live your life differently if you knew that a dire medical diagnosis would teach you to value life, help you overcome phobias, live more fully, learn about your body, and make great new friends? That’s what happened to my friend who was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease for which there is no known cure. She embraced a positive attitude and asked family, friends, and church members to pray for her. All those positive thoughts focused on her well-being: Her disease is now in remission, which her doctor previously didn’t think was possible! Without the initial diagnosis she would not have lived through such a rich and rewarding experience, nor experienced the miracle of others focusing positive thoughts on her (prayer).

How would you live your life differently if you knew the financial nightmare you are experiencing would actually teach you how to ask for help (and get it), teach you how to receive, and allow others the experience of being your angel? That’s what happened to someone dear to me…always the giver, it took a difficult experience for her to allow others to help. In realizing that she and others were benefiting from this ‘struggle’, realizing the blessing and becoming truly GRATEFUL for it, her financial situation turned around almost overnight!

How would you live your life differently if you knew that a sudden job loss actually allowed you to refocus your career on what you’d rather be doing, gives you time to decompress before starting anew, and puts you on the road to a better career with higher income and better quality of life? This is what happened to me…TWICE! The first time, I started a new job (at a temp agency) the next business day making 50% more than I was before, and jump-started an entirely new career. The second time, the severance package allowed me to start a new business with greater earning potential, and flexibility to work from home as I raised my son. That was more than 14 years ago! Now when I hear someone has been laid off, I call them and congratulate them on this wonderful new opportunity in their life.

Still not sure you can view your hardship as a blessing?
Then you need to watch this video about Baby Eliot, whose parents made a bold choice: To view their son’s genetics as an opportunity, not a tragedy. Regardless of your views (pro-choice or pro-life), it cannot be denied that we all have a choice how we view our life experiences. You can dwell on the anguish or you can make another decision, and experience the BLESSING in doing so…



If nothing else, I hope you will pause to rethink how you feel about your life and your experiences. I know this to be true: From the moment you begin to see each life experience as a blessing, an opportunity to grow and be blessed, it will begin to morph into exactly that…thrilling you in ways you may never have previously expected!

Nearly two years ago, I was struck by this epiphany and it has changed my life completely! Everything I experience is now a blessing…either obviously so, or in choosing to find the abundant blessings and silver linings.

Is there an experience in your life that you can begin to see as a blessing? Please take a moment to share it with us below.

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