Do affirmations work?
I've always had issues with affirmations. I first encountered them in Louise Hay'sYou Can Heal Your Life, a book whose "big idea" is that our emotions create the root cause of all physical ailments. The book lists a number of physical illnesses and the supposed emotional cause behind each one, along with an affirmation you can use to help address the emotional root of your disease, or dis-ease.
I had been struggling with chronic illness at the time I first picked up that book, and I had a LOT of resistance to what Ms. Hay had to say. "What is she talking about? How can a physical illness have an emotional cause? And besides, why should I say 'I am healthy' when it's obviously not true? Just because you say something is true doesn't make it true!"
Maybe you can relate to my resistance and skepticism. After all, as popular as affirmations are with certain crowds, they can be very challenging when you know that what you're trying to say just isn't true at the moment.
From a psychological point of view, affirmations are challenging, and sometimes don't work, because they only target the conscious mind and not the unconscious mind. The conscious mind tries to make sense of the statement you are making, knowing it's "not true", and ends up in a conflict that leads many people to giving up. There are a number of tools and techniques you can use to help things along on an unconscious level, which in many cases work more effectively to manifest change than affirmations alone.
But I don't think affirmations should be discounted. Actually, they can be a very valuable tool when used in the right way.
Trying it out - breaking it down
The other day I was trying out some abundance affirmations from Catherine Ponder's book Open Your Mind to Receive. Since my teaching job has ended, and I'm making some big changes in my intuitive practice, I've felt the need to increase my feelings of abundance and appreciation for what I have now, expecting that the material abundance I require will come shortly.
The first affirmation I tried was "All that is mine by Divine right now comes to me speedily, richly, freely." The moment I said it, a feeling of overwhelm came over me. "That doesn't feel right," I thought. "Maybe I can trim it down?"
So I tried: "All that is rightfully mine now comes to me."
That still didn't make sense, but now rather than just feeling overwhelmed, I could identify more subtle feelings. First of all, I noticed tension around the idea of anything being "rightfully mine." I realized that I had a major issue concerning what I deserved, and why I would deserve anything. But I wasn't exactly sure why.
So I opened up a conversation with Spirit, and started speaking my concerns out loud and asking for help. As I talked it through, I was able to process and make sense of a lot of my feelings. I gradually adjusted the language I was using, challenging myself to work through my discomfort and continuing to affirm my desired "truth" until it started to feel good to me.
As I kept saying affirmations, integrating them with my spoken prayer, they became a conversation filled with laughter as I cracked jokes about my own resistance and the silliness of all the thoughts that were running through my head. Although there were many moments of emotional discomfort to work through, Spirit gave me the opportunity to see them in a new light and come to a place of greater peace and joy. I now can speak about having things that are "rightfully mine" without feeling such a huge internal conflict. As a result, I can feel more comfortable to enjoy the wonderful things in my life that I know I deserve.
How to make affirmations work for you
If you're expecting the "affirmation machine" to spit out positive results as a direct result of robotically stating positive affirmations over and over, you're probably going to experience a lot of brick walls and disappointments... unless you're willing to look at how you feel.
Affirmations work best as part of a larger emotional process. The real reward comes from learning to process your emotions around what you want, and coming to greater peace and happiness around your situation in the moment.
How to get there? This is what I learned from my experience:
1. Break down your affirmations into basic phrases and words.
2. Acknowledge and allow yourself to fully experience the feelings around each word and idea.
3. Have a conversation with God, Spirit, the Universe, your guides, and/or your higher self, where you address all your feelings and challenges around what you're saying.
4. Feel free to laugh and have a good time!
5. Adjust and add to your affirmations until they become your own.
What do you think? Do affirmations work for you? If so, what do you think makes them work? If not, what can you do to move through the challenges?
"Nothing is too good to be true. Nothing is too wonderful to happen. Nothing is too good to last." - Catherine Ponder
Readings on Hiatus
I'm going on hiatus for at least a couple of months while I focus all of my energies on a brand new project. This project is a big deal - it involves using numerical codes to help high-powered lightworkers who want to create a material impact in this world, and need to replace all old 3D programming with a new path that places them square in line with their chosen purpose. (If this is you, hit Reply and let me know, and I'll be glad to provide more info.)
If you're in need of a reading in the next week or two, let me know ASAP (reply to this email or call/text 401-545-2557) and I'll try to get you in my schedule before it becomes way too busy. Otherwise, remember that you have all the answers you need available to you at all times, even if the channels they come through are not what you expected.
Lots of love - be in touch again soon!