I just finished (finally) reading a 400-page ”Integral Life Practice” book that inspired me to write this blog post. The book is not just a new approach to self-development and higher awareness, but a way or making sense of – and making best use of – the existing treasure trove of insights, methods, and practices for cultivating a more enlightened life. This highly flexible system will help to develop physical health, spiritual awareness, emotional balance, mental clarity, relational joy, and energy level, within a framework that integrates all aspects of life. Sounds plausible, huh?!
But that’s just what it is. That’s why I can sincerely recommend the book for everyone capable of opening one’s awareness and willing to develop oneself. This was just a short introduction to the topic of this post, the affirmations.
Affirmations are a powerful practice of directed intentionality. They are useful when you are ready to make a real commitment to bring about a change in your life – whether it is a new behaviour or a specific goal in your work or personal life or wherever! The practice of using affirmations involves regularly repeating one or more statements of positive intentions. They act as powerful attractors that work behind the scenes to call attention to life’s unscheduled practice moments. While repeating an affirmation it revels the message: remember, remember, remember. What makes an affirmation so powerful is that it resonates with the different levels of your own psyche and begins to reprogram alternative distractive voices and reoccurring thought loops, for example: “I will always fail on whatever I do” or “I have no self-discipline”. Instead you have now created an affirmation where you have decided to let things come to you as they are and accept them positively: “I will enjoy whatever I do and thus succeed”. I have previously written how you can silence your repetitive mind with meditation, but this approach with an affirmation is different. But you can still combine both of them! Let’s continue, shall we…
An affirmation practice begins with a clear decision that a new reality will come to be. It is a powerful tool for transformation. Essentially, you draw a line in the sand and declare, “This will be.” By embodying that in an affirmation, and repeating it daily, you generate an alignment of all the levels of your being with your intention, and you keep broadcasting that resonance into your world. I’m not talking here about the “law of attraction” but this is how it goes. You vibrate certain energy to the surroundings and it responses exactly the same way back to you… What once seemed painfully difficult eventually becomes easy and natural.
When you create an affirmation, it may be helpful to choose an area in life where you have difficulty recognizing practice opportunities. Practice involves finding a way to phrase an affirmation and relate to it, so that you believe in what you are affirming. You must care about it and speak it with certainty, more than just belief – a commitment of your whole being.
Some leading experts, including Michael Murphy, author of the “Future of the Body”, believe they’re among the most powerful tools for developing supernormal abilities. I recently bought a copy of this tremendous piece of literature and it waits to be read; two weeks in and I’m on my summer vacation for a month meaning that I have plenty of time to finish the many books that I’ve recently started reading.
Here is a step-by-step guideline for Affirmation practice from “Integral Life Practice” book:
- Always phrase affirmations in the present tense. Like, “I Am healthy”. Avoid using future tense “I Will be healthy”.
- Phrase them positively. “I eat delicious, healthy food.”
- Make them short and specific.
- State affirmations in the 1st person.
- Make them believable to you.
- It’s essential to care about your affirmations. They depend on a strong emotional connection.
- Repetition and persistence are essential.
- Act on your affirmations whenever you have the opportunity.
- If affirmations are new to you, experiment with them gradually.
– I love myself unconditionally.
– I trust myself, and I trust Life.
– I keep my commitments to others and myself.
– I choose what I eat to optimize my health, beauty, energy, and free attention. (This one I have been using for ages now; even before I even knew of affirmations in the first place :D)
– I enjoy a profound empathy with others.
– I feel oneness with all existence.
For an example I have had problems on getting to bed early enough to get the adequate 8.5hours of sleep, which is the amount of sleep that is optimal for me. Usually on workdays the amount of sleep is more like 7 hours or less. That is why I created an affirmation for improving this part of my life: “I will go to bed at 21.30 and wake up refreshed every morning being ready for a new day.” Now I have thought whether this phrase is too long but I will anyhow give it a try. Let’s see how it goes, my motivation and commitment to the affirmation is with certainty.
I would love to hear what kind of affirmations you possibly have decided to try after reading this!