This morning I shared with you how I found my higher purpose after Larry died. In addition to asking myself the questions listed in this morning’s blog, I also turned to another wellness practice I’ve used for over twenty years: affirmations.
I first learned about affirmations from an unexpected source during a leadership training at Whole Foods Market.
Every team member in a leadership role was required to take this week-long leadership series. Each day focused on a different aspect of the business with the last day being dedicated to effective leadership. I attended this final class taught by the current Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, John Mackey.
Initially I didn’t understand why an executive of a publicly traded company would be talking about a new-age concept during a training seminar. But I listened intently as he described what an affirmation was, how to state an affirmation and how to incorporate it into your daily life.
I was intrigued. It was during a time in my life where I was searching to find my purpose. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
Throughout the years affirmations became a tool I turned to frequently as part of my wellness practice. Creating and stating affirmations helped me immensely after Larry died and I had to figure out my new purpose in life.
If you haven’t heard of affirmations before, you may have a few questions.
What is an affirmation?
An affirmation is a powerful, positive statement you create that provides you with emotional support and encouragement.
Do affirmations really work?
The Huffington Post published the following article on May 2, 2013;
Self-Affirmation Could Boost Problem-Solving Skills When You’re Stressed: Study.
The study followed a number of college students who reported to be under an intense amount of stress. Half the group participated in self-affirmation exercises while the other half did not. At the end of the study all participants were asked to complete a task that measured problem solving capabilities. Those that practiced self-affirmations were able to problem solve better than those who did not.
How do you create an affirmation?
Here are some tips to create an affirmation:
• Keep it in the present. The affirmation is how you want to live your life today. The past is over and the future will align with how you think today.
• Be positive. An affirmation affirms how you think, feel and act. If you put negative words or actions in your affirmation, the results will be negative.
• Keep it short and simple. An affirmation can be a few words or sentence. You don’t have to write a paragraph or full page. If you have that much to write, create more than one affirmation.
•Be true to you. Create affirmations that enhance who you are, or the person you want to be.
This is how I create affirmations for myself:
I think of someone or something I love. For example, my children. Then I think of a positive interaction, my love for them. I think of how I want our relationship to be. Then I write the affirmation down.
I love my children and I am a good mother to them.
Do I think of an affirmation every day?
No, I don’t think of one every day. I have some affirmations that I repeat almost every day, like the affirmation above. Sometimes when I’m entering a new venture, such as this website, I’ll think of an affirmation for that and repeat it each time I write for this blog. It’s really up to you how many and how often you create an affirmation. I certainly wouldn’t want to put any added stress or pressure to how you feel today by placing a quantitative measurement on coming up with affirmations. All I’ll say is that the more you practice stating your affirmations the more you’ll see changes in your life.
In the very dark days after Larry died I had a difficult time coming up with affirmations. My usual Pollyanna self, who had the capability of seeing the silver lining in most situations, had lost all sense of joy and hope. But I knew from my years of living with affirmations, I only needed one to start.
At this time my affirmation, much like the higher purpose I originally sought, was dedicated to my children. In those first months following Larry’s death, I couldn’t see the forest for the trees, but I knew one thing: I wanted my children to heal. That became the foundation of my healing once more. Every day I watched my children, I had one thought, one affirmation:
I love my children more than anything and I am committed to helping them heal.
As I healed, I’ve been able to add more affirmations.
Here are some of my affirmations that I state on a regular basis:
• I take time for myself every morning to start my day peacefully
• I am surrounded by beauty
• I am loved and I have a lot of love to give
• My decisions in life are based on love
This morning I asked you to think about your higher purpose. This afternoon I give you a tool to help you achieve that purpose.
I also encourage you to start creating some affirmations for yourself. If you find you are having a difficult time, remember, you only need one.
I would love for you to share it, if you are comfortable in doing so, in the comment section below.
If you can’t think of one right now, don’t be upset with yourself, to get you started I’ll give you one:
I am loved and I am worth it!
To read this morning’s article, click here.
PS. Since that training session many years ago numerous public figures have come forward stating that affirmations were a key factor to their success. So maybe a leadership training wasn’t such a strange place to hear about affirmations after all.