Harness the Power of Your Words: Positive Affirmations for Positive Living

Article by Make The Days Count Contributor Blake Cothron

 

It is time to speak your Truth … banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary.  All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.”

 

These words spoken by an unnamed Hopi Elder summarize the heart of this article – that our words create our future.  In this excerpt, the Hopi Elder is urging for us all to become conscious of our words and attitudes.

 

How much thought and care do you put into the words you use?

 

“The pen is mightier than the sword“is a testament to the power of words.  In response to a negative prediction, such as expecting rain on a day planned for a picnic, people will often reply, “Don’t say that”!  There’s also superstition around predicting or invoking disastrous and harmful things to happen, as in a curse.  And prayer can be seen as a positive affirmation or invocation.  There seems to be an innate understanding in our psyches of the power of words to shape the world and reality.

 

Even if someone is skeptical of metaphysical occurrences, few people would feel comfortable being bombarded by negative words and predictions.  And haven’t we all felt uplifted by positive, loving words of encouragement?  Words have power. 

 

As the Hopi Elder urged, it’s time for us all to harness the power of our words to co-create a positive world.  It’s time for our words to be sacred.

 

Positive Affirmations

The practice of using positive affirmations became very popular with the film The Secret.  In the film, people describe their experiences of using very positive images and affirmations to attain what they desire.  A woman diagnosed with breast cancer uses the phrase “Thank you for my healing,” along with a healthy diet, relaxation, and plenty of laughter, and claims she soon attained a complete remission.  This practice of positive affirmation is becoming very popular, and people are achieving the results they desire.

 

I’ve made it a practice to stop myself mid-sentence when I’m about to say what I don’t want.  I then rephrase it to invoke what I do want.  It goes something like this: “I don’t want you to…wait….I want more connection with you.”  It’s a great way to affirm what I want to have in my reality, instead of protesting against reality. 

 

I was awakened to this concept about a year ago when I was standing outside a neglected community garden with a friend.  I said that the garden would likely be overrun with weeds and forgotten.  He replied “That’s not what I’m invoking”!  I was taken aback.  The concept of “invoking” was unfamiliar to me.  After thinking deeply on that and putting it into practice, I started experiencing the benefits of positively affirming what I want to manifest in my life.  Later having this philosophy reflected in the movie The Secret showed me that many other people were doing the same, achieving real results, and had been since time immemorial.

 

Messages Conveyed in Our Lives

So what types of affirmations, words or otherwise, are you exposed to daily?  What are the advertisements saying?  That you need more stuff, that you could be more attractive, and what men and women’s roles are.  If you watch most news networks or read major newspapers, you are being bombarded daily with very negative words and images of extreme violence, intolerance, abuse, etc.  When you hear a newscaster describe the latest mass murder, how do you feel inside?  Do you notice how you feel?  I’ll bet you feel anything but empowered, inspired, joyful, or any other healthy, vibrant feeling.  I personally feel sick inside; nauseated, fearful, and less energetic.

 

I try to limit exposing myself to negative newscasts, newspapers, violent movies, and aggressive pop music and hip hop.  Of course, some people get inspired to alleviate suffering through volunteer work after being exposed to dreadful reports.  It’s not about burying our heads in the sand, as one man says in the film The Secret about the news: “[You can still be informed], you don’t have to be inundated!”  We need to look deeply at the messages being conveyed to us in our lives and ask ourselves if they are a healthy expression of reality.    

 

Choose Positive Messages

By carefully choosing what messages we expose ourselves and our children to, we can fill our lives with inspiring words of hope, joy, progress, healing, unity, and all matter of wonderful things.

 

Are these the things we would like to see in our lives?  Yes!  Are these positive affirmations reflected in our homes and social circles?  What are the lyrics you listen to?  Are they empowering, intelligent, positive, and joyful?  When you listen to a really joyful, spirited song you love, don’t you feel great?  How do you feel when you listen to a really sappy, depressing, or aggressive song?  What about the words and messages your children are exposed to through pop music, magazines, and video games?  What are the messages conveyed by their video games?  Is it the positive reality you want for your children?  

 

Honesty

The practice of using words to shape reality is one of honesty.  It’s not about lying until you’re happy.  If you feel terrible, you don’t have to put on a fake smile and lie that you’re blissed out.

 

You can start by saying honestly how you feel and then how you would like to feel.  “I’m in a bad mood.  I really wish I felt better!  I’d love to feel relaxed and happy right now.”  Instead of digging yourself a deeper hole by saying “I feel so bad, everything is going wrong today.” 

 

Recognize your feeling and situation, and then invoke what you’d like it to be.

 

Shy Away from the Negative – Embrace What Empowers You

We’ve all been around people that love to complain about everything; they use words to express what’s wrong with everything they encounter.  Listening to their words and being around this kind of energy brings us down.  Being exposed to negative and unhealthy images and words harms our health.  It raises stress levels to see violence on TV.  Our blood pressure goes up, the immune system suffers, adrenaline is released, and our serotonin levels drop in negative situations, inviting depression. 

 

When we want to really improve our lives, we should embrace what empowers and lifts us up, and avoid things that we know bring us down.  When we surround ourselves with beauty, good friends, family, pets, positive music, art and inspiring books, our lives reflect that and we become a light to others.  We become what we’d like the world to be.       

 

Putting Positive Affirmations into Practice

I found a wonderful tool at a spiritual community in California.  It’s a little glass bowl that contains dozens of artfully cut pieces of colorful construction paper.  On each piece there is a wonderful, positive affirmation or word.  One will say “Inspiration” one will say “Beauty.”  One might say “Follow your heart,” another reads “Say a word of encouragement to another.”  Meditatively picking one of these out and taking it to heart is a great way to get started with positive affirmation.  The kitchen table and the break room at work would be great places to put a bowl of affirmations.  Imagine contemplating these messages instead of watching TV or looking at a magazine while eating your meal. 

 

Writing is another great way to start creating what you want.  You could start by writing down three things you’d really like to have in your life.  They can be material items or things like more connection with your kids, a better, more meaningful career, or a loving, stable relationship.  You can keep a journal to track what happens.  

 

Gratitude

As our lives unfold in positive ways, it’s great to express gratitude. 

 

As many believe, this is an essential ingredient to the entire process being successful.  And it feels good!  It feels great to be grateful, thankful, and joyful over life.  Let’s turn our lives into a celebration of everything going right!  When we focus on what’s going good and right, we feel good, and our outlook improves. 

 

As the Hopi Elder said “All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.”  We can start by making our words sacred by positively affirming with honesty what needs to change, what we want more of, and what we’d like to experience.  We can respect our lives by choosing wisely healthy influences that empower us.  Every day we can mold our life and our world into what we want it to be by using our words in a sacred manner. 

 

“It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.”
-John Burroughs

 

“The first step is to fill your life with a positive faith that will help you through anything. The second is to begin where you are.”
-Norman Vincent Peale

 

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Posted on 30 December, 2008 in Balance, Fitness & Health, Happiness
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