Monday, April 27, 2009

Aiming Our Awareness

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the use of affirmations to harness our creative powers. I'd like to explore that theme a bit further here. 

While affirmations may, at first, seem like New Age fluff, the concept has been used for decades in the field of psychology. It is accepted that negative comments made repeatedly to children become internalized, woven throughout the personality with far-reaching effects. Identifying and altering these largely unconscious beliefs is part of the work of psychotherapy and self-help practices. Devising life-affirming statements to supplant negative ones is an important tool in that process.

But affirmations are not just for healing childhood wounds. They can befriend each of us as we expand beyond our current limitations.

These personalities of ours are lenses through which we relate to the world around us. These lenses, however, are not of clear glass, but colored in ways unique to our dispositions and our histories. We do not perceive the world as it is, but rather interpret it according to the hue of our individual selves.

But these lenses affect also what we give of ourselves. Like a stained glass window, the unique light of the Divine flowing through us shines out through our psyches. Our task is to cleanse, as much as possible, our personal lens. Affirmations are a powerful method for doing just that.

To begin, choose an issue that keeps you from freely expressing your unique essence. A lack of trust in your ability to make good choices, for example, might keep you from fully committing to those endeavors that might enrich you.

To devise an effective affirmation to transform this notion, use the following guidelines.
  • First, a positively worded statement is best. “I want to stop doubting myself” is not as potent as “I want to trust my ability to make good choices.”
  • Second, a statement in present time, as though it were already true, will be strongest. “I trust my ability to make good choices” is, therefore, more robust.
  • Third, an affirmation should feel at least partially true, though you may need to root out its veracity if you tend to be hard on yourself. Most often, any affirmation you devise will contain that kernel of truth or you wouldn’t have conceived it. In our example and keeping in mind the plethora of choices you make every day of your life, you do make good choices frequently, don't you? And most of these are made reflexively, without undue anxiety or self~doubt. 
  • Fourth, affirmations that are active and imbued with pizzazz will most fully enlist your spirit in the process of change. "I direct the power of my innate wisdom to choose well today.” Now that’s a declaration with oomph!
Once you have your affirmation, repeat it several times daily. Enter it as your computer’s screen saver. Whisper it to yourself before sleep. Modify as appropriate. And enact your affirmation through behaviors that nourish it. In our example, explore the various options available, and then be still and allow your choice to rise from within. And perhaps develop a new affirmation to grow the fortitude needed to enact this choice in a sustained manner.

Through committed use of affirmations we strengthen, over time, the capacities we seek--just as we also reinforce our insecurities, albeit unwittingly, each time we batter ourselves with negativity or resist forward movement.

Try the following affirmations on for size: 
  • “I seize opportunities to grow faith and trust in God.”
  • “I embrace, with enthusiasm and trust, all that comes my way today.”
  • "I open to guidance that is always present, ever available.”
Affirmations are not wishful thinking. They are a powerful means for harnessing the incredible power of our minds and spirits to a positive end. 

Our pane of uniquely colored glass, wiped clean of accumulated dust and debris, can then recognize its own small place in that vast prism of the Divine. Wow!

Be creative and have a bit of fun with this technique. Play! And have a wonderful week letting yourself shine.


Loanne Marie

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Leia Marie