I started writing affirmations months ago at the start of Lockdown. Having read Hal Elrods’s Miracle Morning, in which affirmations serve as one of his recommended daily practices, I made a list of lots of positive things I wanted to affirm.
‘I am strong. I am creative. I exercise every day.’ and so on.
I took heed of Hal’s advice that they be positive, present tense and possible, and I wrote out several lists of goals and dreams as if I were already living them.
I had a LOT.
So, because I love a system, I categorised them according to Maslow’s inevitable triangle of needs, which I realised correspond vaguely to the seven chakras, complete with colour coded clarity of categorisation that I like to call chakraffirmations.
Today, having researched affirmations again, I discovered several sources that say they don’t work unless you believe them. You can repeat to yourself over and over again that you are strong and confident, but if you don’t believe it – if your chimp brain can completely override it – then you create a conflict in your head that can cause even more discord and unhappiness.
According to Joe Dispenza and Julia Kristina, affirmations don’t work unless you FEEL them to be true. So instead of using the word ‘affirmation’, Julia calls them ‘Healthy Reminders,’ which I really like, because you know at some point you believed them, and you can again, even if right now you need to be reminded of them.
For example, one of my affirmations was ‘I am grounded and stable and I trust myself.’ I know there are days when this is not true, but there are plenty when I can believe it, so my reasoning is that if I say it repeatedly to myself, then on days when I don’t feel it, I can at least remember feeling it, and know that I will again.
So I rewrote my many happy dreams so that when I said them out loud there was no part of my brain that was frowning in objection.
A lot of my affirmations started with ‘I am grateful for…’ and I realised that every single one of them could be preceded with gratitude, which just feels lovely, and so I added a thank you to each of them. ‘Thank you that I am grounded and stable and trust myself.’ I am not sure who the thanks is directed towards, but it doesn’t matter, it’s just gratitude, which is proven to be good for you, and will have its own lesson later.
Having rewritten them all, I set about the meticulous task of getting my 36 affirmations (whittled down from the nearly 80 I came up with in May) to fit neatly into the shape of a heart, as I needed an illustration for today. Which colourful craziness has taken us very nearly to midnight!
They will probably change again, but for this month, they are a lovely list of beautiful things to say to myself, that take around ten minutes to read through out loud, by the end of which, I’m smiling.
Side note: Back to that religious upbringing, I can’t ignore the fact that we were brought up very strictly as children to recite a ‘Pledge’ every Sunday at 5am, standing in sleepy rows in our best dresses, and mumbling absent-mindedly that we promised, among other things, ‘to achieve the ideal of God and human beings united in love through absolute faith, absolute love and absolute obedience.’ The technique of diligent repetition out loud did work to instill a set of values and beliefs, consciously and deeply subconsciously, and while the subject of mind control techniques in extreme religious groups is the subject for yet another day, I like the fact that I have sort of created a new ‘pledge’ for myself, but instead of being fuelled by guilty obedience, it is made from something genuine, compassionate and completely authentic to me.