Demystifying Affirmations

Thoughts and beliefs can be the seeds of our reality and wellbeing – if we can monitor and recognise our thoughts we can get deeper insight into how we relate and perceive the world – this is not a hard concept to understand -especially if you’ve done any sort of meditation or mindfulness practice. 
It makes sense then that the cultivation of positive thoughts and beliefs can help us improve our perception, wellbeing and shape our reality. 
Affirmations are a tool that we can use to cultivate the sort of thoughts and beliefs that we want to be generating and living from. 

What is an affirmation? 

An affirmation is a present tense (“I am” as opposed to “I will”) positive, empowering statement that we can write down or repeat to ourselves. 

Why use them? 

There are claims that by repeating or repeatedly writing affirmations everyday the universe will respond and our affirmations will become reality. 
This requires a level of belief and faith in something that’s very hard to prove and at times requires an outcome that is outside our control (pretty cool – and if you believe it then I hope you’re already using affirmations to make the world a better place.)  
Another reason to use them is to improve our self talk,  focus, intent and well being by choosing to cultivate positive thoughts and beliefs that can be the catalyst for positive actions and behaviours.
This requires faith and belief in ourselves and the power of our mind and with a little self awareness these things are, at least subjectively, a little easier to monitor and measure.  

How to use them?

1.) Choose a quality, character trait, state of being or outcome that you would like to manifest.
2.) Come up with a present tense affirmative statement that sums up what it is you’d like to manifest.
3.) Write the statement down in your journal 3 – 15 times and consider what it means – try to visualise or imagine yourself manifesting that which you are affirming. 

How to choose them?

Obviously we could choose any number of affirmations – so much so that it can be hard to choose and  
Below are 5 suggestions of how we may choose our affirmations – I suggest choosing one or more every day for a week. 
1.) If we have a strong sense of purpose or a goal to strive for we can use affirmations to help facilitate that.
E.g. My purpose is to inspire and lead people to be mentally, physically and emotionally stronger, fitter and healthier. 
My affirmation could be – “I inspire and lead people to be mentally, physically and spiritually stronger, fitter and healthier.”
2.) If we have a sense of the sort of person we want to be we can use affirmations to generate the sort of thoughts and beliefs that person lives from.
E.g. I want to be more compassionate and kind.
My affirmation may be “I am compassionate and kind to my self and others.”
3.) If we know things we like about ourselves we can use affirmations to confirm and strengthen these traits
E.g. “Today I trained hard at the gym”
Affirmation may be – “I have lots of energy.” or “I’m disciplined, passionate and energetic” 
4.) If we know thoughts or beliefs we don’t like generating we can use affirmations to reframe these “negative” thought patterns into something positive. **
One way to do this is to affirm the opposite of your negative thought pattern or belief. 
E.g. “I’m not good enough” Possible Reframe “I’m great the way I am and I’m only getting better”. or “I am the best version of myself right now and though I want to get better I won’t let it hold me back”. 
5.) If we don’t know any of the above then mindfulness, insight meditation and journalling may be better tools to use initially – if we don’t know who we are or where we want to go affirmations will not be based on wise choice.
 
At the end of the week choose an affirmation (it could be one that’s repeated often during the week) that resonates with you the most and run with that for the next 4 weeks. 
**Reframing negative thought patterns is something we can do constantly when we get good at recognising them. They can be used “on the fly” as needed or as a daily practice.

How to make them real?

Thoughts and beliefs can be the seeds of our reality and wellbeing but if we want them to improve the world then we must nurture them with action. 
Once you’ve chosen your affirmation for the day look for ways to live them out in your day to day. 
At the end of each day reflect on how you put your affirmation into action and write that down in your journal.
E.g Affirmation “I am compassionate and kind to myself and others”  – reflection today when a work colleague said something that I found annoying I noticed my anger, took a deep breath and chose to act with non judgemental curiosity. I felt less annoyed and satisfied that I was able to use compassion rather than reacting.
 
You may also consider what opportunities you missed and write down what you could’ve done to live the affirmation more thoroughly in that moment. 
E.g. Affirmation – “I am compassionate and kind to myself and others”. Reflection today – a work colleague said something annoying. I reacted sternly. I then felt bad for going against my affirmation. I could have taken a breath and considered enquiring with a more open mind into her point of view. After I reacted the way I did I could’ve recognised it as a minor setback and an opportunity to learn rather than feeling guilt or shame over neglecting my affirmation. 
This process can take some practice – but the more we practice the better and more fluid we become at cultivating positive thoughts and turning them into actions and behaviours – the closer we get to flourishing and making the world a better place. 
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Balance

To balance

Strength with Flexibility 

Work with Rest

Passion with Patience

Uniqueness with Unity 

Purpose with Peace

Unconditional Love with Self Respect

Self Expression with an Open Mind 

Wisdom with Focus

To let of the ego on one hand and wholeheartedly embrace and evolve it on the other

This is the Way of the Tiger and the Monk!

 

Honour Gratitude with Intention

Gratitude Empowers our Past

By looking back and choosing to reflect on the things, events, learnings and beings we are grateful for we empower our past with the memory of that which was good, helped us to grow or served us in some way . 

Intention empowers our Future 

By looking ahead and setting intentions we lay a foundation for living a purposeful life

The practice of each empowers our present

Honour all you have to be grateful for by doing what you intend to do and being who you intend to be. 

A profound way to enhance gratitude and intention is to combine the two by following each blessing you are grateful for with an intention or action to honour that blessing.

Try this : 

Every night write down three things you are grateful for that happened that day, write down three things you intend to do tomorrow and write down three attitudes, values or character traits you intend bring into you life.
When you wake up in the morning re-read your list and turn your intentions into actions.

 

Shine Sun

There_s a fire inside of meit wants to say something it wants to brighten to bring warmthto igniteBut why, why me, what could I possibly have to say?to ask why dulls the flamelet that

Universal guidance, inner wisdom, a higher calling.

Our inner genius speaking to us.

Our higher self inviting us to fulfil our potential, to step into our destiny.

Do you ever have thoughts that makes you believe in all the above?

Maybe you even dare to believe the above is true!!

And then self talk steps in and talks you out of it. Convinces you you are not good enough. Keeps you in you place. Convinces you it was just a silly notion, nothing worth paying attention to. Just another day dream, thought or feeling that comes up every now and then. Even if its true there’s just too much standing in your way to consider it further.

Whether we do have a higher self guiding us to fulfil our ultimate potential and become a higher version of ourselves or just a bunch of random thoughts and feelings – some very inspiring and others full of fear doubt and complacency – we still have a choice.

We can act upon those thoughts that inspire us and make us want to shine.
We can accept the thoughts that say we are not good enough as a challenge to get better and continue to improve – not a road block to stop us from shining right now.
We can accept that fear and doubt are over protective but often misplaced safety mechanism designed to protect us from the sort of threats that no longer concern us – lions, tigers, bears, starvation, dehydration.

We can start to listen to that “higher self” as if it really existed, understanding that the more we listen and act the more forthcoming the guidance will be.

1000s of thoughts travel through our minds all day. The ones we listen to and let go of shape our experience. The stories we tell ourselves about these choices shapes our lives.

Listen deeply, choose wisely and act courageously.

The Sea of Consciousness

the sea of consciousness washes away all that doesn't serve If only we can sit with it

Take a deep breath in and a long breath out.

Soften your gaze, relax the muscles in you face and take another deep long breath in, following the breath as it enters your nose and travels down to your belly.

Hold the breath in for a moment and be with the space, full of breath. As the desire to breath out presents itself let the breath out gently and patiently with a long, slow exhale. At the end of the exhale before you start to breath in again be with that space of no breath.

Continue to ride these waves of breath, letting go of any distractions, until the waves themselves cease to be and only the sea remains.

A Day of Mindfulness

Theres a space we some times visit and that sometimes visits us. That space where the mind is clear, where all worries disappear and the sound of silence creates a sea of bliss for our consciousness to swim in.
The Tiger gets to that space through purpose. Physically or mentally challenging and expressing himself so whole heartedly that all else falls away and the tiger becomes one with the activity at hand.
The Monk gets to the same space through peace. Meditating deeply, curiously, patiently and wholeheartedly.
His breath and focus allowing everything to drop away
until only serenity, acceptance and consciousness remain.
Both ends of the spectrum provide us with magical moments of bliss, clarity and oneness but most of our lives are lived in between these two extremes,.
What if we could turn those magical moments into magical states?
The subtle art of mindfulness allows the essence of deep meditation and the flow state achieved when we are fully engaged with a task, to permeate our everyday lives.
While it seems far out and is not an easy thing to master daily mindfulness is perhaps the most powerful practice we can apply to improve the quality of our experience from the inside out!!
Try this

Rise and Shine

*upon waking before you get out of bed tune in with your thoughts, don’t let them sweep you away just notice them. Next bring your attention to your body, how does it feel after a night in bed? Finally tune in with your emotional tone. How are you feeling on the inside? This scan needs to take no more than a minute or two but can take as long you like.
Once you’ve scanned all those direct your awareness to your breath. Take 5 – 10 deep expansive breaths into your belly and long slow breaths out. If distractions arise acknowledge them and direct you focus back to your breath.
On your last breath get up and out of bed with hesitation and know you’ve already started to train your “mindfulness muscles”.
*Once out of bed begin the day with a formal meditation practice or some self reflective journalling.

Life is Art

*As you go about your day attempt to honour each task as though creating art. Move through your day like a martial artist moves in the dojo. Focus on one thing at a time and a be aware of your thoughts, feelings, words and action as you go about your day to day

Re – Mind Yourself

*as the day goes on it’s easy for us to get swept away and to start doing things mindlessly. It’s a great idea to set a reminder (on your phone, watch or computer) that goes of every two hours. When this alarm goes of tune in with your thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations, noticing whatever’s there. Then take 3 – 5 deep breaths, and continue to mindfully go about your day.
Another reminder can be before you walk through the door to your home. Before you walk in consider the energy you a carrying with you. Tune in with your body, thoughts and emotions. Take a few deep breaths before entering your home with the intent of letting go any thing that isn’t serving you as you breath out.

Mindful Dining and Desert

Dinner is a great opportunity to slow down before bed time and practice mindful eating. We often eat t.v. in front of the t.v. and computer and barely engage our senses. To mindfully eat dinner is to limit distractions as best you can. No t.v., no computer, (even try no talking. You simply engage all your senses and focus to eating dinner. Noticing the smells, the sounds, the sights of that which you’re consuming. Even tuning in with your sense of touch. Notice any thoughts that arise as you do this quite unusual practice. See if you can be patient enough to last the whole meal in this mindful state (it takes patients and perseverance).

       Finish Like You Started

Before you go to bed make sure you write down three things you are grateful for from the day gone by and spend another 20 minutes meditating or doing some calming breath work. As you go to bed tune in with you’re breath and drift of to the other world.

Energy Flows Where Attention Goes

Let a person shift their opinions only to what belongs in the field of their own choice, and i GUARANTEE that person will have peace of mind, whatever is happening around them

Picture this ……. you’re on the bus reading quietly and someone on the bus is whinging loudly about something outside of their control. You try to continue reading but a good part of your attention is listening to their whining. You grow increasingly frustrated at their apparent lack of wisdom and you consider offering them the above quote to help them out of the futile (& loud) conversation their ignorance has them in and earn yourself a bit of peace for the rest of the bus ride.

I would suggest there’s (at least) two conversations happening here. One between “the whinger” and his friend and another in your head. If you accept this second conversation is the one causing you frustration you may realise that you need to heed your own advice (in this case the above quote) for letting someone else into your sacred space.

It’s often easy for us to see lessons that could help others and often it’s precisely the lessons we would prescribe others that would actually serve us.

Master your own domain before you try to “fix” the world around you.
It’s the height of hypocrisy and arrogance to assume you can fix in another what’s broken in you.

Next time you feel frustration toward another ask your self two questions
1. Does “their” fault live with in you?
2. Could the energy and attention you spent allowing yourself to be frustrated by them be redirected to something more positive?

The second questions is the antidote to most things we worry about these days and one of the keys to self mastery and personal freedom.

Inner World

With in us there is a space, an inner world. A place of freedom, wisdom, space and authenticity from where we can operate and engage with the outside world.
A place where we can shape our character, our actions and our choices to reflect our higher self.

A sacred space, a divine space, a space we can retreat to at anytime to seek counsel.

Sit in silence, let your breath find your inner world and stillness be your guide.

A View from the Moon

When the moon pulls an all nighter

And shares the sky with the Sun

It can be reminder that we are sitting on a planet floating in space 

And it ain’t to hard to imagine sitting on the moon and looking back at (Mother) Earth 

And to see her from this point of view we recognise her as One, a beautiful living being, including us.

If we realise this and start behaving according we all grow together, with the Earth not on her

Mantra

From this seat of wisdom my day is blessed

A life of abundant

Joy – so that I may celebrate all that is great with an effervescence that may light a fire in others

Beauty – as its fuel for the Soul

Economy – to be free and to give my generosity relevance

Generosity – because we are all one

Compassion – To go beyond the walls that separate and realise we are all one. To make generosity relevant 

&

SOUL – Self Mastery, Oneness, Uniquity, Love

Thoughts are just seeds unless watered with actions – then they grow into a garden sometimes called destiny.

Live your mantra, control your destiny!!