HJ: Positive affirmations are far more than just some wishy washy New Age technique. They are, in fact, incredibly powerful tools for reshaping your subconscious mind. Positive affirmations, when used properly and effectively as described in the article below, are perhaps the fastest route to lasting personal growth and change because they work directly on our beliefs, which create and dictate our perception of ourselves and the world around us. If you understand and master this one concept, you will have literally limitless ability to create and shape your life as you see fit.
Positive affirmations can be most similarly likened to a self-hypnosis, as they operate in fundamentally the same way. They work by implanting powerful commands in the subconscious mind, which, over time, literally reprogram it at a core level. Our recommendations are to focus on one ‘meta-program’ at a time. For example, work on your self-confidence or your self-trust, but not both at the same time. Trying to reset multiple meta-programs dilutes the effectiveness of any efforts by sending mixed signals to the subconscious mind. Therefore, choose one to work on at a time (a period of a few weeks to a few months). Begin all affirmations with the same structure — I am confident in my ______ or I trust my ________ depending on which meta-program you are targeting. This phrasing creates the predominant pattern in the mind of whatever the introductory statement is (I am confident, or I trust, again, only as examples).
And finally, it is better to focus on the root of the problem, rather than the specifics. For instance a fear of social situations actually stems from lack of self-trust and confidence. Instead of saying I am confident in social situations, you would focus on the core self-confidence/trust issues, e.g. I am deeply confident in my self expression.
By Philip Shapiro | Philip Shapiro
The Power of Thought
We can change our destiny by changing our thoughts. Thoughts, both negative and positive, have great power; they are magnetic and attract according to their vibrations. Negative thought attracts negative. Positive attracts positive.
The science of affirmations teaches us how to send powerful positive thoughts to our conscious and subconscious minds and to the cells in our body as chemical, electrical, and magnetic waves. Through a simple maneuver involving free will and choice, we learn how to deploy our own thoughts to break through limitations, transform bad habits, turn failure into success, and activate our healing powers.
Our thoughts have leverage in the inner workings of our cells having to do with transforming disease into health. By using affirmations to cultivate spiritual qualities, we stimulate healing power. When we align our thinking with such qualities as peace, compassion, and understanding, we set up harmonious conditions for the healing power to do its work. The right condition for healing is a mere thought away.
The discovery that we are both the problem and the solution in the intimate proximity of our own minds is of enormous importance. A new level of responsibility and work is assumed when we learn how to apply the power of thought to affect any need or condition.
Life is a battle between negative and positive forces. In the mind, this battle takes place between positive and negative thoughts. Following is a description of how practicing affirmations can help us transform our subconscious and conscious minds into a powerful, positive force.
AFFIRMATIONS AND THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND
The subconscious mind is a vast storehouse of our memories, thoughts, and experiences. Most of us have experienced rejection, humiliation, abandonment, and the loss of loved ones. Many have had terrible trauma, abuse, accidents, or illness. These harsh experiences can lead to negative thought patterns or habits that cause unnecessary, ongoing pain. These patterns are stored in our subconscious mind and brain cells, in negative thought circuits that lock us into destructive ways of responding to the world. Some examples of this type of negative thinking are: “I am ugly, bad, guilty, and worthless. I am a helpless, weak, inadequate loser. I cannot change. I am doomed to suffer. I deserve punishment. I will never be able to get out of this problem. I can’t beat this habit. No matter what progress I make, something will come along to take it away.”
In response to life events, such negative attitudes emerge from the subconscious rapidly, automatically, and habitually. They often manifest in relentless repetitions referred to as ruminations or obsessions. The mind can get stuck in ruminations for minutes, hours, days, weeks, and longer. Some deeply embedded patterns can extend their influence over a lifetime.
We have a tendency to underestimate the mind’s negative power, much of which is submerged beneath our awareness. The science of healing affirmations teaches us how to access the conscious and subconscious mind so that these negative patterns can be brought to awareness, rooted out, and replaced by positive new brain circuits and thought patterns. The result is a positive, calm, focused, and resilient mind, sharpened and ready for problem solving, managing life’s harsh realities, and creating health, success, harmony, and joy.
Positive thoughts act like medicine released from the brain’s own pharmacy. This thought-medicine cannot do its work, however, if negative ideas, beliefs, or attitudes neutralize its healing power. When a positive affirmation is stated, there is often an attack of negative thoughts or beliefs, which emerge from their storage place in the subconscious.
For example, you may be fighting low self-esteem because of prior abandonment. To change your self-image, you affirm, “I am good, beautiful, worthy, and strong.” However, your subconscious mind sabotages your efforts to create a new positive identity by releasing the negative counter-thought, “You are an insecure, awkward, homely loser.” This negative thought has had control of your self-image for years. It is a well-established thought circuit that does not give up its power so easily.
The effect of the countering negative thought is the same as if you wrote something with chalk on a board and erased what you wrote. The negative thought maintains its power unless neutralized by a stronger, positive thought force. The science of healing affirmations teaches us to use our concentration, will, feeling, and faith to infuse the positive thought with the necessary power to take hold in the subconscious mind.
With practice, eventually the positive thought will grow and associate with other positive thoughts such as, “I am a good person. There have been many victories. People actually do like me. I have a lot to offer.” At some point, we can deploy an army of positive thoughts to rapidly and effectively neutralize the negative ones. Then, when the same provocative situation arises to test us, our mind stays positive, poised, and peaceful.
CREATING POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE AFFIRMATIONS
Affirmations work, but they may not work for you if they lack the necessary potency to take hold and grow. Following are some suggestions for creating effective healing affirmations.
1. DEFINE YOUR PROBLEM
2. DEFINE YOUR GOAL
Focus on your solution rather than the problem. Do not think so much of where you have been as of where you want to be. You become and attract what you intend. Your goals will become your new habits. For example, if you are working with disease, focus on health. For fear, invoke courage or bravery. For anger, try peace, patience, forgiveness, or gentleness. For weakness, try strength. For failure, try success.
3. PRESENT TENSE
State the affirmation in the present tense, as though the goal is already accomplished. You would not want to affirm, “I am going to be calm.” You would affirm, “I am calm.”
4. POSITIVE TERMS
State the affirmation in positive terms such as “I am calm,” not the negative “I am no longer anxious.”
Keep reworking the affirmation until it feels just right. For example, you may prefer “I remain even-minded under all conditions,” or “evenminded no matter the condition,” or simply a one-word affirmation: “even-minded.” When it feels right, it will fit the rhythm of your being perfectly.
We can reinforce the power of our affirmation by associating it with a mental picture or visualization. In this way we can think, see, and feel the reality of the affirmation. For example, we can all imagine circumstances that make us nervous, angry, or agitated. We can rehearse these scenes in our minds by creating thoughts and pictures of ourselves remaining calm despite provocation. The more we rehearse, the more likely the subconscious and conscious minds will help us stay relaxed when the actual stressful condition arrives.
Practice and repetition are most important. Without repetition, there can be no progress. Deeply embedded negative thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes have been around for a long time in the subconscious mind. When the brain cells are loaded up with thought habits that have to do with disease and limitation, it takes time to form thought circuits that have to do with health and possibility. We need to repeat affirmations continuously for chronic deeply embedded conditions, and we need to ignore an unchanged or contrary condition as we repeat the affirmation.
Many people give up early, not understanding the effort required or unwilling to do the work. Some habits, patterns, or conditions may change with ease, while others may take a long time to heal or replace. We need patience: it may take months, even years, to transform deeply ingrained habit patterns of thought, feeling, desire, or behavior. Perseverance is the magic of spiritual work.
The more we use positive affirmation, the quicker change occurs for the better. With continued practice, the affirmation takes on a life of its own. It repeats itself by itself. The thought gains momentum and strength, eventually becoming powerful enough to become reality. Repetitious positive thoughts gradually replace and finally dominate the negative patterns of the conscious and subconscious minds.
To be effective, we need to bring all of our attention and energy to our spiritual practice. Each method described in this book requires all of our heart, mind, might, and soul for maximum benefit. There must be sufficient intensity and concentration of feeling, thought, will, and faith to give the exercise—in this case, the affirmation–sufficient energy and power to make the necessary changes. If the affirmation is spoken without passion or planted in a restless, unfocused mind, it will have less power.
Muscles atrophy from lack of exercise. Similarly, those who have not been doing an inner workout weaken their powers of concentration and will, the tools necessary to break through the barriers of limitation into conscious possibility. With practice and repetition, our will power and concentration slowly grow.
As you strengthen your affirmation, be sure not to create tension by going too far. Calm concentration without tension increases the force of the thought. The goal is to repeat the affirmation as many times as you wish with calm concentration, deep feeling, and will. When you realize your attention has wandered, bring it back to the affirmation with as much focus as possible. Repeating the affirmation with increasingly intense concentration and feeling mobilizes healing power.
At first, our healing affirmations may be like sparks blowing in the wind with no apparent effect. With patient, persistent practice, these thoughts get stronger. They light healing power ablaze. Although it kindles slowly, if we keep adding affirmative fuel to the healing power, there will be a bonfire. Then the affirmation permeates our conscious and subconscious minds, every cell, fiber, molecule, and atom of our being, as well as surrounding space, eventually bringing into existence the very thing being affirmed.
Life energy, operating the bodily cells, tissues, organs, and systems, has within it the power of healing. This brilliant power heals our cuts, bruises, colds, and other ailments without our action. We can trust it, and there is evidence that the more we trust it, the better it works. Affirmations are more effective when practiced with faith and belief. Doubt and insecurity undermine the authority of the new positive thought, and work against the life energy and healing power. For maximum benefit, perform your affirmation with faith, trust, and belief in its power to heal.
THE TECHNIQUE FOR AFFIRMATIONS
DURING PERIODS OF REST OR MEDITATION
We can perform this technique during periods of rest and before, during, and after meditation:
Sit with the spine straight.
Take several slow deep breaths.
Relax the body and calm the mind. Throw out all problems, restless thoughts, fears, insecurities, and doubts. Gather as much concentration and stillness as you can.
Open yourself to the idea that affirmations work and that all conditions of the body, emotions, mind, and spirit are changeable.
Choose an affirmation and repeat it with increasing intensity. With your will and concentration, eliminate all other thoughts. Hold the affirmation in the center of your being for several minutes. At some point, notice the affirmation repeating itself even when you do not try to remember it.
Feel the affirmation. Allow it to permeate your conscious and subconscious minds, every cell, fiber, molecule, and atom of your entire being and surrounding space.
Visualize yourself as you imagine yourself to be when the affirmation has become completely real.
When the mind wanders, bring it back to the affirmation.
Try practicing japa yoga. Japa yoga is the repetition of a mantra, affirmation, or chant resulting in attunement with the presence of God.
Every thought sets up a corresponding vibration. When you repeat a word, thought, or chant reflecting the presence of God, you experience Her peace, Love, and joy. You can repeat any affirmation related to the presence of God such as “God, God, God,” “My Lord, I love You, it is a blessed privilege to serve You,” “I am immersed in the presence of God,” or “I bow to the manifestation of my Divine Mother before me right now.”
Avoid mechanical or dry repetition. Feel the chant in your heart. When your repetition becomes mechanical, bring it back into your heart and infuse it with devotion and feeling.
Repeat the silent chant when you are working, cooking, shopping, cleaning, driving, walking, exercising, playing sports, or helping others
WHEN TO DO AFFIRMATIONS
We can do affirmations any time: at rest, in meditation, or during activity. Affirmations are more effective when the mind is relaxed, opened, and less defensive, such as just before going to sleep or just after awaking. Its maximum benefit occurs when the mind is still during or after meditation.
We can practice affirmations before, during, or after a particular problem surfaces. For example, if we are struggling with anxiety, we can practice affirmations of peace while we are anxious. But we can also practice when we are feeling serene, which is a good time to fortify the subconscious for the tests of life that are sure to come.
THE TECHNIQUE FOR AFFIRMATIONS
We can perform this technique when we are engaged in activities that do not require our full attention such as walking, raking leaves,washing dishes, cooking, shopping, cleaning, or stuck in rush-hour traffic. We can also do this technique when our mind wanders into negativity, when we are upset, or when we want to change the direction of our thoughts for any reason.
Give your mind the command to stop.
2. FOLLOW STEPS 2-8 FOR AFFIRMATIONS DURING PERIODS OF REST OR MEDITATION
WRITING AND RECORDING AFFIRMATIONS
We can write affirmations on note cards and keep them in our pockets at all times. We can pull the card out during the day whenever possible, pick a relevant affirmation, and repeat it until the idea deeply ingrains itself in both the conscious and subconscious minds. We can also record affirmations
HOW MANY PROBLEMS SHOULD
BE ADDRESSED AT ONE TIME
We can work on one or many problems at the same time, but it is wise not to put too many affirmations into our program at first. It is better to concentrate on one or a few affirmations with intense concentration than to dilute our power by spreading ourselves too thin.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRAYER AND AFFIRMATION
Affirmations and prayer are similar. In prayer, we seek help from our Higher Power. An affirmation is a statement of the prayer as though the result is already accomplished. For example, one might pray, “Lord, grant me even-mindedness under all conditions.” The corresponding affirmation would be, “I am even-minded under all conditions.”
Those who understand themselves to be co-creators and cooperators with their Higher Power can combine the use of prayer and affirmation. For example, it has often been said that God helps those who help themselves. When we work with affirmations, we are helping ourselves. Prayer is the request for God’s grace as a means of getting help with the problem.
ONE – WORD AFFIRMATIONS
When we need to do some work in a particular area, we can affirm any spiritual quality with one word. For example, when we feel restless, we can talk to our body. It will take instructions. We can give the body a one-word command such as “relax,” “harmony,” “balance,” or “rhythm.” We can talk to our mind. Eventually it will listen. We can think, “patience,” “peace,” or “poise.” When someone is giving us a hard time, we can affirm, “understanding,” “compassion,” or “forgiveness.”
Joe has a very difficult time accepting criticism without feeling rejected. When others are critical, he reacts with anger and fear. He loses control of his emotions, yells, and becomes verbally aggressive. Later, embarrassed by his immature behavior, he feels guilt, shame, and remorse.
Joe wants to change. He starts the practice of affirmations. He affirms, “I am at peace under all conditions. I remain calm when challenged. I am a warm, compassionate, loving human being. I am as good as any other person. I remain calm even if the other person is mean and wrong.” With his imagination, he visualizes himself at peace no matter how angry others get. These pictures go into his subconscious mind.
Joe performs his affirmations and visualizations with calm concentration, will, feeling, and faith. His subconscious mind forms a new habit pattern of staying calm, just as Joe pictures himself to be when others get angry.
Later, an angry person confronted Joe in the street. Instead of reacting with anger and fear, he remained calm. He was even able to stay supportive of the other person and give him a kind word. He withdrew from the scene without adding oil to the other person’s fire. Joe marveled at the power of affirmations to heal his long-standing problem.
Joe was also wise to the fact that his healing was not complete. From his study of the science of healing affirmations, he knew that his progress might not be in a straight line, that his record might not be perfect. He knew that he might not handle other situations as well and that negative thoughts of discouragement and insecurity would arise. Despite the inevitable setbacks, Joe continued his practice of affirmation with diligence, patience, and perseverance. Although he knew it would
take time, he was confident that he would ultimately master his long-standing problem by calmly concentrating on his affirmations with all of his heart, mind, might, and soul. Eventually, Joe achieved mastery.
FOR SUCCESS IN WORK
- I am successful in all aspects of my work.
- I focus on completing one task at a time.
- I am calm, efficient, and productive.
FOR SUCCESS IN RELATIONSHIPS
- I am in harmony with all people.
- I contribute to the health and welfare of everyone I meet.
- I am understanding and compassionate, even when others are wrong and provocative.
FOR CULTIVATION OF SPIRITUAL QUALITIES
- I am at peace no matter what the world does.
- Compassion and kindness permeate my thoughts, feelings, and actions.
- Love is the great healer. I give Love and kindness to all I meet.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power permeates every cell of my body.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power cleans my cells.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power eliminates debris.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power creates antibodies against disease-causing microbes.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power generates new cells where needed.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power energizes my body.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power relaxes my body.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power melts disease.
- The infinitely intelligent healing power coordinates all the activities of my body.
1. Review and study the nine guidelines for creating powerful, effective healing affirmations.
2. What is the difference between a prayer and an affirmation?
3. Describe how subconscious negative thoughts sabotage
4. Describe and practice the technique for affirmations during meditation or rest.
5. Describe and practice the technique for affirmations during activity.
6. Describe and practice japa yoga.
7. As you repeat your affirmations, try writing down the negative thoughts that surface from your subconscious. This will demonstrate the nature of the negative images and attitudes that could be controlling you at this time. By doing this, you can find out what beliefs prevent realization of your intended positive thought.
8. Reflect on the brilliance of the healing power. Meditate on it. This will increase your trust in its magnificent intelligence. As you increase your faith, trust, and belief in your own healing power, your affirmations will be more effective.
9. Write out some affirmations on note cards and keep them in your pocket at all times. Pull out the card and practice these affirmations during the day. Select an “Affirmation of the Day.”
10. Review the 100 Love qualities in the spiritual alphabet. You can use these as one-word affirmations. Let these one-word affirmations be your word of the day. These qualities will help you get through any physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual problem.
POINTS TO REMEMBER
- Nothing is closer to us than our own thoughts. It is in this realm that we can change our reality and our destiny.
- We look at the world through our thoughts as though they are glasses. Negative thoughts fashion a dark vision of the world. Change your glasses. Think positive thoughts rooted in Love.
- Spiritual qualities are the healers. When we align our thinking with such qualities as peace, compassion, and understanding, we maximize the chemical and electromagnetic forces that control healing. With affirmative thought, we can give ourselves inspiration and guidance, comfort and solace, transformation and purification.
- We can work on any problem by affirming any one or combination of 100 Love qualities. Choosing thoughts in alignment with Love lights the fire of healing power. In so doing, we make an immediate contribution towards the transformation and healing of the world by reforming ourselves.
- In each moment of our lives, we have a choice concerning our thoughts and attitude. As soon as we perceive a single negative thought, we can eliminate it with an army of positive thoughts. When feeling restless, affirm with peace. When judging others, counter with an affirmation of loving kindness.
- We compound our problems with our excesses. In response to the difficulties of the world, we respond with mental restlessness, high emotion, bad habits, and greed. Our selfishness gives us the illusion of protection while creating more fear and insecurity. Instead, we can respond with compassion, peace, and understanding … powerful healers that neutralize all types of negativity.
- In a state of deep meditation, we can plant our affirmation and visualization in the subconscious mind. With continued practice, this thought-picture grows in strength and power until it has enough force to become a new habit.
- Love qualities are the gateway to higher consciousness. We can create the qualities we lack through concentration, will, thought, and faith. Pick a Love quality, breath it, affirm it, and practice it in your actions. Each time we align our thinking with Love or one of Her consort qualities, we move one step closer to spiritual realization.
- Applying the power of positive thoughts to heal life is simple, relaxing, and enjoyable. The results are of great benefit over time. Practice affirmations. You will be amazed when you see how the wonderful power of thought can change your life! Never underestimate the healing power of positive thinking.
- When we see something we dislike, we can affirm our vision of goodness and beauty. We can apply the scientific principles of healing affirmations to eliminate all traces of negativity.
- With continuous practice, life itself becomes an affirmation.