"Embrace the glorious mess that you are." - Elizabeth Gilbert
Part of my morning routine includes writing affirmations in my journal. I have read a lot about affirmations, and it is a concept that is nowadays mentioned too many times, just like gratitude or meditation. While I believe in all these concepts, sometimes we don`t hear about the "messy work" that is behind this when you, esp. for the first time, approach gratitude, meditation, or affirmations.
Sometimes you do just feel low or negative, that it can be very hard to either find good things or genuinely feel gratitude (it is being implied that you seemingly have to feel deep and sincere gratitude for its magic to work). Sometimes your mind is just racing and emotions are boiling up, that five minutes of silence can be quite overwhelming and difficult to bear (it is being implied, too, that every second of meditation can already help). Sometimes when reciting affirmations, you feel like lying to yourself even if you try hard to believe these new positive perceptions about yourself (it is being implied that affirmations are actually the way to let go of our limiting beliefs).
Today, I would like to explore the myths around affirmations with you. Here are my 3 take-aways for you to make your affirmations really game-changing and supportive in your life:
1. Choose ones that first resonate with you
I once did a coaching online programme, that provided a workbook with a list of 100 positive affirmations that you could choose from and introduce into your life. Being a real newbie in the personal development world, I found this list quite helpful. So having a list helps expand our perceptions that might have been limited by our negative beliefs. If we are esp. so convinced that our relationships always fall apart and bring frictions, it may be hard for us to immediately adopt the belief "I always bring love and peace into my relationships".
Having a long list with many phrases that sound beautiful and wishful, it is also key to take out the pressure and just choose those that resonate with and speak to you instantly, without thinking too much about it. Not choosing "I always bring love and peace into my relationships", while adopting "I am loved for who I am" instead, does not mean that the opposite would hold true (i.e. that you would bring destruction and hatred into your relationships). As you may recall my mantra, we can just take life step by step. So choose, for example, your Top 3 affirmations that you would like to focus on and then, step by step, you can extend your list or replace them with new ones.
2. If you decided to work on a particular area (such as your body relationship), start where you are.
It remains important to establish a new neural pathway, so whenever you see your body you won`t automatically judge out of rehearsed habit, but with more compassion (not in a sense that you are now worshipping your body from one day to the next, but more in a sense that you are compassionate with your current negative thoughts). Start where you are means taking baby steps (again :)) and choose those affirmations that you can believe in. So now instead pushing towards "I love my body", you can choose "I appreciate my body".
3. Connect your affirmations with rituals, embodiment, or dedicated time.
Having chosen our affirmations that truly resonate with us and sound plausible, we can strengthen our affirmations so they are not only hollow words. In the example with the body, we can connect to the new belief, "I appreciate my body", with a ritual to touch your body when we wake up and to feel gentle care when we do our skin care or take a shower. Whenever we catch ourselves in judging e.g. our belly, breasts, or skin, it can help to shift by appreciating our body. which does not depend on how it looks. Sometimes we may need to add extra self-care time as a result of feeling negative after our judgments to nourish ourselves and act from a more loving position.
My coach has also opened up my perspectives by asking, whenever I judge, whether this comes from me or actually from thinking what others would say. This is when we may realize we have judged our appearance more from men`s or society`s perspectives, and we can decide that voices other than ours (we may already have an Inner Critic) don`t have space and permission to live in our mind. Of course, this may take time, so again take out the pressure by reminding ourselves that we can take baby steps.
Related to the relationship with our body, in particular, we can also learn to adopt the Buddhist`s view of impermanence and non-attachment. While our body is interconnected with us and is a holy vehicle allowing us to experience life, we are not our body and our body does not define our worth. Just as our mind and soul evolve, our body changes, too. We can learn to accept this constant change because we live in a world that is highly fixated on youth and external beauty (while I sense a tiny shift to authentic and diverse beauty). Women esp. seem to be often subject to scrutiny and limited by their physical appearances. So my current exploraton of the body is a big topic, but I am looking forward to learning and shaping a culture that appreciates our bodies and ourselves more.
Do you have favorite affirmations? Let me know by sending an email to email@example.com – I very look forward to hearing from you! :) PS: Subscribe to my #mindfulmagic Newsletter to stay in touch for upcoming posts, free offers, and news :)
This week`s ...