So tell me about affirmations

January 4, 2011

My argument in favour of using them is that I haven’t yet heard of anything bad happening to someone who uses positive affirmations to better their life! However I can share many sad stories of people who use negative affirmations, i.e. I’m worthless, or I always fail, or I’m no good at that,  or he/ she wouldn’t go out with someone like me..  etc. etc.  you get the gist ? Do these kind of thoughts or similar ones come to your mind? We tell ourselves terrible things, and worse, we believe them!

So you may have heard the term positive affirmations, but what the heck are they and how can we make them work?

Affirmations are simple sentences that we can use to help us to reach goals, become more confident, improve our self esteem etc. They are never negative.

When we say affirmations regularly, for instance in the mornings and evenings, or even throughout the day, we are telling our subconscious minds to believe what we are saying.  It’s no different to what we already do with our negative thoughts, and we are really good at that. We manage to worry and fret, we make ourselves afraid to even say hello to other people and worse, we can stop ourselves from reaching goals and enjoying our lives fully. Each time we think a thought, it travels down a neural pathway in the brain, and this pathway becomes stronger each time we think a thought, if we are constantly thinking negative thoughts, this is what we make ourselves believe is true of ourselves. So let’s get positive and start believing some nice things about ourselves.

At first it might feel a bit strange telling yourself things like ‘ I am in the process of  being happy’, or ‘ I love, approve and believe in myself’, if you don’t feel anything of the sort. But as you continue to repeat these thoughts, or whatever you choose for your affirmation, start putting some emotion behind it. We are great at imagining winning the lottery, but put this imagination behind your affirmations, start thinking, what would it feel like if I was worthy, how would I feel then? If I was good enough, if that person was attracted to someone like me, starting thinking how good it would be. Get into the fantasy of it. Start believing.

A little example, I was lacking in confidence. So I affirmed that I believe in myself, as much as I could during the day and in the evening. Then I imagined what would it be like to have confidence, how would I look, act and feel, what would I wear, what way would people react etc. This felt really good and after a while I took action. I bought new clothes and had my hair done. I got a favourable reaction from people who knew the old me. I wasn’t 100% believing myself yet, but I continued with the affirmations and hand on heart I do feel really confident now. I’ve done this with other things too and yes it takes time, it won’t happen overnight. But if you stick with it, you never know who you could turn out to be! Try it for at least a month and see if it makes a difference. I’m not an expert, just someone who tried it successfully and who wants you to try it too!

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Forgiveness: The Art of Letting Go

January 4, 2011

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” Buddha (quote)

We’ve all heard the term ‘forgive & forget’, but for any of us who have tried it, it ain’t easy! The word ‘forgive’ means to cease to feel angry or resentful towards… it also means to give up or let go.

Hands up, anyone who still hasn’t forgiven something that happened at least 10 years ago. Now I can’t see your response, but if you’re like me, or at least the way I was up until about six months ago, your hand is UP!

Wow 10 years, to be held a prisoner, of your own choosing! But guys, even 10 minutes is too long! What are we at? We experience something that we feel angry or resentful for, the person or situation moves on and away from us (hopefully, but sometimes it doesn’t) and we’re stuck there in the past, seething over something, re playing it over and over, re writing it, adding revenge into the plot, or hoping the situation or person will CHANGE, and what happens? We get older, and sicker, and crabbier, and to some extent we die inside.

I believe we also lose our inner peace and our joy, because everything is coloured with this past hurt, we feel that if we forgive, then we have let them away with it. Now I know this is a broad subject, and situations vary in severity, and I’m not saying forgive and forget and we’ll all be ok. Sometimes justice has to prevail, but that can happen without you torturing yourself with thoughts of vengeance for instance. Sometimes if you find you are being abused or mistreated in some way, you find that you begin to think that enough is enough and you know that you will have to part from the situation and then learn to forgive and forget. Forgiveness does not mean tolerating everything. Some things cannot and should not be tolerated. I personally tolerated too much in my past, and times did come when I had to save myself and leave the person or situation. I have learnt to forgive myself for the part I played in allowing people or situations to have affected me or hurt me and I forgive those people and situations for the part they played in my life. When you learn how to do this, then you are FREE! You forgive someone or something for YOUR peace of mind. This unlocks the shackles of anger and resentment, and I can tell you, it is a liberating experience!

Here’s a quote from Lewis B.Smedes –The Art of Forgiving: When you need to Forgive and don’t know how.

‘All the years you have waited for them to ‘make it up to you’ and all the energy you expended trying to make them change (or make them pay) kept the old wounds from healing and gave pain from the past free rein to shape and even damage your life. And still they may not have changed. Nothing you have done has made them change. Indeed they may never change. Inner peace is found by changing yourself, not the people who hurt you. And you change yourself for yourself, for the joy, serenity, peace of mind, understanding, compassion, laughter, and bright future that you get’.

Wow, I guess that about sums it up doesn’t it? Now you know why you should think about forgiving, I should tell you how. So here goes in six easy(ish) steps!

  1. Acknowledge that you have been hurt. Acknowledge the who, what, where and when.
  2. Be Accountable. Depending on the situation, if you were hurt because of something you did, apologise first. Sometimes in relationships we do something that hurts another, and then they retaliate. Accept the part you play and say sorry.
  3. Forgive yourself. Once you have accepted the part you may have played, forgive yourself. If you can’t do this, you will find it very difficult to forgive another.
  4. Patience. You will need it. It takes time to heal the pain of being hurt, and if you have accumulated anger and resentment, it may not disappear overnight.
  5. Set limits. Again depending on the situation, if in a relationship for example, you say sorry, they say sorry but it may not be a happy ever after, you need to re assure each other that you won’t repeat the behaviour that hurt in the first place. We’re all human, we all make mistakes, but if someone is constantly hurting you, you need to think in the long run, what is the best situation for you.
  6. Affirm. Use affirmations to help you to learn to forgive. ‘I am in the process of letting past hurts go’, ‘I am learning to forgive’, search the internet for forgiveness affirmations. If you repeat them constantly with emotion they will help you to heal.

 

In my own personal situation, I had a lot of things to forgive, it wasn’t easy, it was very painful. It was difficult to not be a victim, as people kept telling me, ‘Oh Paula you didn’t deserve that’. I don’t view things that way. Pain is inevitable – suffering is optional (unknown author) I accept that I didn’t get out of peoples way fast enough before they walked over me! I have a great sense of humour and I used it to learn to forgive.

I know this may not apply to you, you may have had something done on you that you played no part in, but use whatever is useful above to help you free your mind of anger and resentment. The choice is yours, we can view life from whichever perspective we choose. Having been on both sides, I prefer the happier path of forgiveness.

Have you found the path to forgiveness?


Dream Catcher

January 4, 2011

I have just received a gift of a wonderful Dream catcher from two very special friends, which now takes pride of place over my bed.

This thoughtful gift has sparked a few thoughts, which I just have to share with you.

Now the Dream catcher originates from Native American Traditions, where it was believed that by hanging a symbolic web over a sleeping person, that this would protect the sleeper from bad dreams. Traditional Dream catchers have eight points where the web attaches to a circular hoop, which represents the eight legs of a spider. The spider being symbolic of female spiritual energy, wisdom and learning. The Navajo legends held that this web would catch the bad dreams and prevent them from passing into dreamtime, while allowing the good dreams to slip through the centre. In these legends, morning sunlight would purify the web of the bad dreams.

I was thinking how wonderful this is, and I was also thinking that I haven’t actually had any bad dreams in quite a while because somewhere in the past year, I installed a Thought catcher in my mind and this has actually done a wonderful job of filtering through all the negative thoughts throughout the sunlight hours, that were actually leading to bad dreams in the night time!

So if you’d like to have a Thought catcher too, it’s very easy to install. Just challenge each thought as they try to come in. Ask if that thought is going to bring you nearer or further away from your joy, if it brings you nearer your joy and happiness allow it to slip through the centre, if it brings you further away let it get caught in the web. If you visualize yourself on the other side of the web or Thought catcher, then you will not be holding these negative thoughts and only holding the good ones that benefit you. The negative thoughts are trapped outside. Purify your web or Thought catcher daily with a little meditation or by using affirmations that state ‘I am willing to release all thoughts that do not serve me or are not for the highest good of all concerned’.

And then if you feel inclined, go out and get a Dream catcher for an extra measure of protection ! Hope you have pleasant dreams tonight, I know I’m going to!


Angels Wanted

January 4, 2011

Many of you reading this article will have been perhaps thinking about your work situation recently. Some of you may be unemployed, or have become redundant, or retired, or maybe you just left school or college and found a serious lack of meaningful employment opportunities available to you. Maybe you just want a change of scene?

Well I was thinking about all of this and I’ve come up with the perfect solution!

This job should suit everyone, regardless of colour and creed. It doesn’t matter if you left school early, it doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, male or female, gay or straight. It doesn’t matter. If you’re already employed, you can fit this in with your existing schedule. It’s perfect.

Interested? Here are the details.

Job Title: Angel

Location: Everywhere

Requirements:

Kind people sought, to be angels.

Must have good heart and be willing to help others, especially strangers.

Good listening skills essential.

A sense of humour is helpful.

Must be willing to use initiative, and offer help even when it’s not asked. for, or expected.

Be willing to bestow random acts of kindness at a moments notice.

Good communication skills, must know how to say ‘thank you’, and ‘I’m grateful’, and be willing to share encouraging words with others, just for the sake of uplifting them.

Dress code: Successful applicants should wear a smile everyday, and give to everyone they meet.

Remuneration:  Inner peace, happiness, contentment, bliss and never ending joy.

Canteen: You will receive a lifetime’s supply of food for the soul,

Bonuses include the satisfaction of knowing that you are adding to the world’s happiness, that you are making a positive difference, even if only in a small way.

No interview necessary. You don’t need anyone’s permission. You can start right away. This is a job for life, you will never run short of people to help. So what are you waiting for?

Be a Blessing….. Not a Burden…. Don’t delay….. Start today!


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