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 that affirmation, as they were the ones who quickly recovered! This is one reason that this one affirmation has become one of the most famous and often quoted. 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…

Moment-to-Moment Commitment

A fellow Good Vibe University member shared an Abraham video today and that reminded me reminded me of the commitment I have long-since made to Deliberate Creation…

You have control over the direction of your thought. And the way you feel is about the direction of your thought. You have the ability to focus in ways that you have not exercised. Too many people are dependent on the behavior of too many others which you can’t control. Then it puts you in this uncomfortable position of needing to be true control freaks in order to feel good!

when you get it, when you decide early on or as soon as you can, that you’re going to stop trying to control the uncontrollable, which is everything that everybody else is doing…stop trying to control the uncontrollable and control the only ting you CAN control, which is your relationship with your Vortex!

Let Law of Attraction do all the controlling. And you just adjust your vibration.

You create a better world ONLY from inside the Vortex!

I don’t just teach about deliberate creation and processes like affirmations, visualization, and meditation – I live it and I practice. I recognize it is my choice. Every day. Every moment. Even when I thrash around in resistance, I know that there is a choice to be made.

Sometimes it’s easy to make the choice to think better-feeling thoughts, and I do. Sometimes it’s hard to make that choice, and I yet I still do. Sometimes I am so off-center vibrationally that it takes time for me to right myself before I am ABLE to make a better choice. As soon as I can, I usually do…because it’s part of my commitment to the practice of Deliberate Creation. Yes, focusing takes effort—although not as much effort as thrashing around in resistance.

How EASY we make the moment-to-moment choices to feel better has more to do with our own thoughts, ego, and willingness to see life from a different perspective. Get really good at questioning your thoughts regularly. Recognize your stories and weed out the ones that don’t serve you. Be willing to let go of what isn’t working in favor of what does work for you. (Sometimes, your only guide to what is working better is ‘what feels better right now’.) For me, making that commitment and practicing it has made it easier to get out of my own way.

Your turn —what do you do to get out of your own way and have you made the commitment to Deliberate Creation? If you haven’t made that commitment, are you willing to consider it?

Yes, You ARE a Master Manifestor!

Through the course of working with small business owners with Quantum MasterMind for Solopreneurs and coaching individuals, most of the clients struggle to get to the place where they can imagine RECEIVING what they are asking for. Many struggle to believe that it’s possible to have what they want. They do not see themselves as powerful manifestors.

Of course, they usually have a non-supportive story in their head that goes something like this…

“OMG, this is really BIG! I really WANT this to happen, but I just don’t know how to create it! How can I possibly bring it into my life IF I don’t know how to make it happen? Maybe this is too big for me. Maybe it just isn’t possible…”

Seriously, with that kind of story going on, who could expect to receive what they want? One of the keys to receiving what you ask for is to practice FEELING AS-IF you are already living your new desire. Doing so conditions the mind to be open to the experience, and then you notice those opportunities all around you. This is how you begin deliberately molding consciousness into reality.

The Law of Attraction is always lining you up with experiences that match your dominant vibration. So, when you vibrate at the place of…I just don’t know how to create it…I don’t know how to make it happen…this is too big for me…it just isn’t possible, take a wild guess what you’ll experience?

One day, I was thinking about how I could help my clients overcome their block to receiving while sitting on my couch with my legs up on the ottoman. My kitties, sensing an opportune moment for being loved, immediately commenced pinning me down. Louise got in her usual spot on my lap and began purring loudly. Thelma then cuddled herself closely to my left, effectively wedging me into the corner of the couch. Amidst this abundance of purring fur, which always evokes an avalanche of loving feelings, I began recalling how these elderly kitties had come into my life: I intended it.

I intended that when it was time to adopt a new kitty, the next one would love to lie in my lap and be petted, would have long hair and be beautiful, would not claw me, and would be very well socialized. I intended being open for two cats, and if I did get two cats, they would get along very well. Where I live, only indoor cats are allowed so I knew it would have to be a cat who was happy being indoors. Then, I let it go. In fact, I recall it was a weekend and I took an afternoon nap.

Notice that I set forth an idea of what I wanted to experience, imagined how that would *feel*, and then let it go. I didn’t judge my current experience, I just put my mind on what would be great, imagined some of the details that would make me happy (long fur, not being clawed, possibly 2, both kitties getting along, etc.), and let it go. By letting go, I mean that I trusted that when the time was right, it would all come together.

Almost a month-to-the-day after setting this intention, I was unexpectedly in a position to adopt when my previous cat died. That same day, I found Thelma and Louise: Two older (calmer) sister kitties who were long-haired, declawed, and were gorgeous. They had to be indoors because they were de-clawed, and it’s clear they *like* being indoors.  Louise looked like a cat who had previously owned me and purrs like a motorboat, so I took first to her. However, Thelma soon won me over with her amazingly loving and human-like personality.

Just thinking about how I had intended something very specific, then GOT IT, made me begin to look at other experiences I had intended and they came to pass. There were many! In fact, the more I recalled, the more there was to recall. Suddenly, it dawned on me that probably MOST people have many experiences they recall desiring and then they experienced them at some point. I bet you have MANY experiences you can recall that will get you into the feeling place of RECEIVING!

Recalling those times in your life when you decided that you wanted an experience, and then did, is a fantastic way to:

1. Remind yourself of all the times you have had an intention and then lived it, and…

2. Remember the FEELING of RECEIVING what you’ve asked for so you can practice feeling it often!

Take a moment to recall those times you’ve asked or intended for an experience, and the Universe provided it. Remember the feeling of getting it? Hold that feeling in your heart and allow yourself to really FEEL it. Practice that feeling as often as possible.

If you do this, it is doubtful you will question your ability to receive what you ask for. However, if the question does come up, you will quickly be able to recall and FEEL the memory of asking and receiving!

Can’t recall anything worthy of  a Master Manifestor? Start with your BODY! The fact that you are alive and that you manifested something that cannot even be created by other humans nor the components bought to build a body means you are a Master Manifestor.

It’s your turn! Click comments below and share some memorable intentions that came into physical form for you…

Are You A Gracious Receiver?

There are three steps to the Creative Manifestation Process:

1. Ask (you automatically do this as you notice what you like and don’t like in your life experience)

2. Answer (this is not your work, the Universe does this for you)

3. Receive (put yourself in the place of allowing what is being given to you)

Since step 1 is automatic and step 2 is not our work in this space-time reality, most people struggle with step 3 of the Creative Manifestation Process. They get hung up on what they didn’t like in step 1 and dwell on every aspect of  what they don’t like, why they don’t like it, explaining how much they don’t like it to others, joining support groups of folks who also don’t like it, and then get upset when that is all that seems to be showing up in their life. Instead of receiving what they want, they end up receiving even more experiences they don’t enjoy and feel like complaining about!

How do you expect to receive what you are asking for
if you are not willing or able to receive it?

It is possible to consciously choose positive experiences and to receive graciously. One of the ways to get good at Receiving is to *practice* Receiving. Just like the muscles of the body need flexing to grow, your ability to receive grows with practice. However awkward it feels at the beginning, with practice receiving becomes easier. You’ll find yourself giving from a place of joy and love, and receiving graciously from that same energy. Pay attention to any negative feelings or emotions pop up when you first begin practicing receiving. These emotions are *gifts* showing you the work you need to do to grow. Be grateful that those thoughts and feelings are no longer unconscious—they have come forward to be healed.

Here are a few ways to build your “receiving” muscle:

1. Make a decision to *receive* graciously. Notice all the opportunities in your life to receive openly and joyfully. The more you notice and appreciate opportunities to receive, the more opportunities the Law of Attraction will line up in your life. If you are feeling uncomfortable or guilty about receiving *too much*, then you kow your work is removing the barrier you have to receiving more.

2. Enjoy compliments. Train yourself to just say “Thank You” and feel appreciation in your heart every time you receive a compliment. If your mind is questioning why the person complimented you or whether they were lying, or you feel compelled to downplay the compliment, then you know your work is to find out why you do not feel worthy.

3. Appreciate free gifts and unexpected opportunities. When someone offers you a gift or a great opportunity for free that you would really like to experience, choose to accept it graciously with open arms. Let the giver know how much it is appreciated. If you find yourself questioning the gift and/or the motive of the giver because it was offered for free, then you know that your work is to understand why others giving to and receiving makes you uncomfortable.

If you are offered a gift or great opportunity that you are not interested in experiencing, consider passing it along to someone you know who would really appreciate it. You might be the Angel that Source Energy needed to get that gift to the right person.

4. Record your receiving. In the same journal where you write your Gratitude List or your Appreciation List, add the list of what you’ve received each day—including smiles, unexpected companionship, and kind words. If you find yourself not being able to remember receiving, then you know your work is to be more aware of all you are receiving in every moment of your day.

5. Practice receiving positive energy. When you meditate, spend a few minutes envisioning yourself *receiving* white light and love from Source Energy through your crown chakra (top of the head) or heart chakra (heart area). Let it soak into your skin, bones, and muscles. Feel it penetrating every cell of your body, healing your body as it goes. Allow yourself to feel deep appreciation in this experience. If you find  it hard to accept energy from Source, then you know you have been blocking your own success in this way.

How do you practice receiving? What gifts have you received by choosing to be a gracious receiver? Share your thoughts and ideas below in the comments section so others may benefit from your experiences.

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