Be kind to yourself and others, and you will be at peace.
The irony about finding joy is that you will often find it when you stop searching for it. We often (mistakenly) search for joy in activities such as earning more and more money for no reason, or stressing about planning our future happiness. Although it seems a good idea to try to make sure that our future is joyful, do not underestimate the power of just kicking back and allowing a moment of joy right here, right now.
In celebration of the joy of giving, I am giving away a full psychic reading, free! To win, all you have to do is reply to this post with a comment about what makes your heart filled with joy. I’ll announce the winner on next week’s post.
So anyway, back to joy. Joy is a necessity and here’s why:
1. Joy is good for your health!
A little burst of joy on a regular basis supports your long-term health. Happy hormones that are released when you experience joy do wonders for your immune system, stress levels, the rate at which you age, your cardio-respiratory health and your mental and emotional health. Make time, every day, to do something that makes you joyful. Savour the feeling and allow yourself the experience without guilt. In my opinion, doctors the world over should be prescribing bouts of joy for a long and healthy life.
2. When you allow yourself to experience joy, it is an act of appreciation for your life.
Sometimes we forget to appreciate our lives. My boyfriend will tell you that I love a good moan about stuff. It’s true…I catch myself doing it…but then I stop and remember how fortunate I am to be alive and to have so many wonderful people in my life, and so many fantastic opportunities, and I go about my day with renewed joy. You may sometimes feel that you don’t deserve joy. You may have feelings of regret, guilt or shame which have caused you to forget that there is any such thing as joy. If this sounds like you, then you may have to force yourself to make a conscious effort to re-connect with joy, and that effort, may involve a lot of changes. You ARE worth the effort. To be happy and content is your natural state, and is the state in which you will thrive – it’s worth putting the effort in to get there. You have overcome unbelievable odds to be sitting where you are, reading this blog, having food in your tummy and air in your lungs. Can you set off on your ‘joy journey’ by feeling a flicker of joy in simply being alive?
3. A joyful experience encourages more joy into your life.
Ah, the good old Law of Attraction. Like attracts like. The Universe responds to you by reflecting your reality based on who you are inside. If you are unhappy, the Universe can only reflect reasons for you to be unhappy. The good news is that the only thing that stands between you and joy are your thoughts. Think deliberately about joy, behave in a joyful way, treat others in a way that makes them joyful, and the Universe will reflect joy right back at you. It must.
4. Joy is contagious: Your joy encourages good feelings in others.
When you smile at someone, they compulsively smile back. It’s an inbuilt response. When we exchange smiles, we can identify allies, friends, and a potential mate. All you have to do is smile and you bring comfort, re-assurance, ease and joy to others. The feelings that we choose to experience are contagious. Those who are closest to us cannot help but be infected by our moods. When you choose joy for yourself, you also bring joy to your loved ones. No true act of joy is ever a selfish act.
5. Joyfulness is the needle of your internal compass.
Imagine if life were as simple as this:
If it brings you joy, do it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, don’t do it.
Well guess what? Life can be as simple as this. In fact, you may already be using joy as your internal compass without realizing it! The joy of some things are hidden so think carefully:
Is there something in your life that’s difficult, stressful or challenging, but you keep doing it anyway? Can you find joy somewhere in the process?
If the answer is yes, then great! You’re following your joy. If the answer is no, then do you think you would be more joyful if you stopped doing that thing? If the answer is yes, then give yourself permission to stop doing it.
Let the compass of joy guide you always down a road of happiness, and let the compass of fear be trampled under-foot…because it dropped out of your pocket…and you didn’t notice…because you were too busy looking at your compass of joy!
6. When you allow yourself to be joyful, you are teaching your children to be joyful too.
Do you have young people in your life? When you express joy, you teach them to live a joyful life. If you live without joy, then you teach them that it’s ok to live a joyless life – and I know you don’t want them taking that message into adulthood. ‘Do as I say and not as I do’ doesn’t fly anymore I’m afraid, so if you want the kids to know joy, you have to show them how it’s done.
This post is dedicated to my friend Joy Fraser, who truly is Joy by name, Joy by nature. Please visit her website Peace, Harmony and Joy where she also writes a wonderful blog.
Until Next Time: Do I really need to say it? Get out there and be joyful!
Next Week: J is for ‘Jobs’: (How to work in spirituality, or, bring spirituality into work.)
Come and gimme some love over at:
And get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie.
Is there a secret to being happy? I used to think that happiness was a property possessed by people, places, things, habits and distractions. I used to think that to be happy, I had to have all of those things in my life. Imagine my shock and surprise when, the more I tried to cram ‘happiness things’ into my life, the less happy I felt.
Now that I am a little older and wiser, I have learned that happiness isn’t a property of anything outside of myself. Happiness is a property of me- if I choose it to be so. And happiness is a property of you- if you choose it to be so.
Happiness is a lens that you click over the camera of your consciousness. It is a way in which you choose to see the world. Happiness is a repetitive choice- if you wanna be happy, you gotta keep choosing to be happy, and here’s something that was a real revelation to me:
You can be happy, and still give yourself permission to feel other emotions. Happiness is NOT the repression of other feelings: it is the loving acceptance of all your feelings (and your beautiful self, more generally!)
The thoughts you choose to think influence the way you understand the world: fact. If you wake up in the morning and immediately think, ‘I’m tired.’; ‘I’m miserable.’; ‘ I’m stressed.’; ‘I have too much to do today.’; ‘I don’t want to go to this meeting.’; ‘I don’t like my job.
‘I’m dreading getting stuck in traffic.’; ‘ I’m always running late.’; ‘I look bloated today.’, etc. etc., then you are creating your world within a framework of negativity. A good technique to encourage happiness into your life is to bring positivity into your morning routine. Consider ‘deliberate positive thinking’ as important to your daily routine as brushing your teeth! Deliberately think about something positive right now. ‘Today is going to be a great day!’; ‘I look beautiful today.’; ‘I am a walking success!’; there’s a few to get you started! My personal favourite right now is simply:
I deserve happiness.
Go ahead and try that one on for size. Thinking positive is like going to the gym- it might take some time for you to get into the habit of it, but keep practicing. Every time you choose to think positively, it’s a win for ‘happiness’. Think of it as those one or two extra reps at the gym – they are a worthwhile effort.
So what about when you don’t feel happy? Well here’s a thought: Worry, for example, is a state of mind that can only be achieved when thinking about the past or the future (as is fear, disappointment or anger). We worry about what has been, how we’ve been treated, how we’ve reacted. We worry about past events, people in our past and past decisions we have made.
Or we worry about the future. We worry about the rest of the day, the rest of the week, month, year- we worry about the rest of our lives that haven’t happened yet!
If you are worrying- or experiencing any fear-based emotion- then you are either living in the past that cannot be changed, no matter how much you worry about it, or, living in the future, and worrying about something that has not happened yet, and may never happen! Fortunately, there is a place where worry does not exist. You’re in it right now. Right here, right now, in this present moment.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath, feel your whole body relax: everything is at peace.
When you catch yourself worrying or getting stessed out, bring your mind back to the present moment. Take a few deep and natural breaths, and focus on your body, your breathing, your heartbeat. In the here and now, there is nothing to worry about. When you begin to worry, focus your mind on something beautiful in the present moment; look out the window at nature, think about something that makes you laugh, think about someone that you love. Happiness and contentment come very easily when we give ourselves permission to exist in the present moment.
What does your inner critic say about you? In order to be happy, you must have a good relationship with your inner ‘self’, perhaps you call that ‘self’ your ego. Be aware of what you think about yourself. When you criticize yourself, you bring your energy way out of alignment with happiness. If you think negative things about yourself, then you are thinking in a way that suggests that you don’t feel you deserve happiness. Don’t be an enemy to yourself, instead, be your own best friend. Think, speak, and act towards yourself, the way that you would act towards someone you love very much. Look in the mirror. The person looking back is a person with feelings, who is vulnerable, who will flourish like a flower when watered by love. You must count yourself amongst the people in your life that you love. Speak to yourself in the way that you would speak to your best friend. You wouldn’t criticize them, speak badly of them and be unsupportive of them, would you? Of course not! So why do those things to yourself?
Every day, look in the mirror and say, ‘I love you.’ And really mean it.
Choose to focus on your good qualities and the things you like about yourself. Think about those instead of criticizing yourself. If you catch yourself thinking something critical about you, then you have to think three positive and genuine things that you love about yourself to balance up the scales of happiness (hey, I don’t make the rules!). To make the most of the happiness that the world has to offer you, you must also think happy about yourself.
It is scientifically proven that being kind to others, receiving kindness from others, and even watching people be kind to each other, is good for your health! To be happy, you must be kind. Perform an act of kindness every day. It need not be a massive gesture, kindness comes in many forms, and as little effort as it takes to smile at someone in the street can help them remember their own inner happiness. Take a moment to reflect on the kindnesses that you have performed, because, guess what?, even thinking about being kind is good for you! As you consciously make kindness a part of your life, happiness will follow. Kindness and happiness are siblings who do everything together.
A great way to make room in your heart for happiness is to practise forgiveness. Believe it or not, making mistakes in life is allowed! It may also surprise you to know that when you make a mistake, you are not obliged to replay it over and over in your mind and hang on to it for the rest of your life!
Forgive yourself. Don’t beat yourself up about things. It wastes your energy and does not help you to feel better. Unforgiveness actually prevents you from experiencing happiness! For more on this, see my post on forgiveness. Forgiving yourself allows you to move forward into a place of increased happiness as you let go of some emotional baggage.
If you feel yourself getting stressed, worked up, unhappy or angry about something in your life, that is ok. Accept the emotion, forgive the emotion, and just breathe! There are many mental, emotional and physical benefits achieved just from taking a nice, deep breath. Breathing helps you to become calm, it allows more oxygen to your brain and brings you back into the present moment. For a quick fix of happiness, no matter what is going on around you, just take a nice, deep breath, in through your nose, expanding your ribcage and your tummy as you do, and out through your mouth, visualizing all your stresses being expelled by your breath. Repeat a few times, and feel calmness and happiness return.
The best way to bring happiness into your life is to be grateful for what you have that already makes you happy! When you get snuggled into your pyjamas and get warm under the duvet, take a few minutes to list the things in your life that you are grateful for. For more on this, see my post about gratitude. What are you grateful for today?
Until next week: Do one thing every day that makes you happy. Do it with gusto. Savour it. Enjoy it. Appreciate it.
Next Week: H is for Healing.
Come and gimme some love over at:
Get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie.
In a slight change to the advertised program, this weeks post is about the amazing, magical, and seemingly life-changing properties of gratitude. (Next week G is definitely for ‘Ghosts’, I know you’re all desperate to find out who my special guest is!)
Gratitude is munching my absolute favourite chocolate in the shape of an egg. Gratitude is the gentleness in the face of a child or animal who loves you. Gratitude is being aware of your breath. Gratitude is choosing to make yourself knowledgable. Gratitude is feeling good about making someone else feel good. Gratitude is accepting a painful lesson. Gratitude is savouring your success. Gratitude is realizing when you have realized a dream. Gratitude is being conscious of the world around you. Gratitude is accepting yourself exactly the way you are. Gratitude is focusing on the good health that you do have. Gratitude is creating positive thoughts. Gratitude is using positive words. Gratitude is inspiration. Gratitude is the force that continues to bring good things towards you. Gratitude is trusting that you are on the right path. Gratitude is loving your partner even when they’ve pissed you off. Gratitude is letting someone else stand in the limelight and celebrating with them – safe in the knowledge that your time is coming around. Gratitude is extracting wisdom from suffering. Gratitude is extracting love from loss. Gratitude is extracting comfort from being alone. Gratitude is taking the time to sort out your re-cycling. Gratitude is a call to action. Gratitude is being, not just grateful, but thankful. Gratitude is taking a little less so that someone else can have a little more. Gratitude is giving a little more and realizing that in giving more you are getting more. Gratitude is experiencing incovenience willingly, to help someone who needs you. Gratitude is a choice. Gratitude is a repetitive choice. Gratitude is a journey, not a destination. Gratitude is a way that you can always make someone feel good about herself. Gratitude is a way that you can always make someone feel good about himself. Gratitude is a way that you can always feel good about yourself. Gratitude is an expression of love. Gratitude is an expression of love in the face of adversity. Gratitude is an expression of trust. Gratitude is your acknowledgement of the value of your life. Gratitude is showing the Universe that you know that you are blessed. Gratitude is giving thanks. Gratitude is giving respect. Gratitude is giving meaning and purpose. Gratitude is giving value. Gratitude is writing it down, saying it out loud, or singing it out. Gratitude is in your heart, quietly. Gratitude is the sister of forgiveness and the child of love. Gratitude is the power to change. Gratitude is the power to stay the same amidst all the change. Gratitude is claiming your place amongst the Universe. Gratitude is understanding the Universe’s place in you.
I am so grateful for you. I am so grateful for your attention, your kindness, your thoughts and your inquisitive mind. I am grateful for your support, your good wishes, your interaction and your admiration. I am so grateful for your disagreement, the challenges you bring, your doubt and your disbelief. I am grateful for the unique and beautiful contribution that you make to this world, and I am grateful for everything I have learned, am learning, and will learn from you.
I love you, thank you for just being you.
What are you grateful for? Share your gratitude in a comment!
Until Next Week: Get a notepad and pen. Sit it next to your bed. Every night, just before sleep, write down everything that you are grateful for, no matter how small. As you write, take a moment to savour the feeling of gratitude and enjoy how good that makes you feel. When you start to notice all the wonderful things that you have in your life, life can only bring you more wonderful things for you to be grateful for.
Next Week: G is for ‘Ghosts’.
Come and gimme some love over at:
Get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie
5 Reasons Why Forgiveness is the Best Revenge.
So, what is so great about forgiveness? Can we really forgive and forget? Have you experienced the healing power of ‘forgiving yourself’?
Someone wise once told me: ‘Unforgiveness is like punching yourself in the face and expecting someone else to feel the pain.’ That being said, why is it that we often find it so difficult to forgive the past and move on with our lives? The answer, I believe, is because we get caught up in the erroneous idea that forgiving equals excusing, condoning or giving pardon to other people’s past behaviour that has really hurt us. When we have been really hurt by someone’s actions, we become so angry, and feel so betrayed and vulnerable, that we just want revenge. Sweet and slow revenge!!
When you have been badly hurt, forgiveness is the last thing on your mind (it’s ok to admit this, you are human!) – you want the perpetrator to understand the pain that they have caused, and to suffer as you have suffered: ‘An eye for an eye…’ and all that. You are so wounded that you cannot forgive and that unforgiveness is a strong fuel that powers your desire for revenge. You feel entitled to vengeance and dishing out retribution feels to be the only salve for your inflamed sense of hurt. And yet…you do nothing. You are a good person and you do not want to go to jail so you resist the urge to batter the perpetrator’s door down with an axe! You swallow down your anger, your hurt, and your need to administer suffering as you have suffered. Over time you get sick, maybe you get angrier, maybe you can’t form meaningful and loving relationships because you cannot trust that you won’t get hurt again. The unforgiveness becomes your dark and poisonous companion who builds a re-inforced wall between you and your natural resting-state of peace.
But it’s not too late to break down that wall! What if I told you that you can achieve the revenge you seek in a way that really will make you feel better, and for which you won’t go to jail? What if I could assure you that it is forgiveness itself, that is the best revenge for past hurts?
‘But what happened to me was really bad. He treated me like garbage, I was abused, I hate this person, I really don’t think I can forgive them.’ I hear you say. If that is so, then the weapon of forgiveness will be even more powerful for you, if you learn how to use it. Get ready to take back the sense of peace that is rightfully yours! Here are some examples of situations that hurt, and 5 reasons why forgiveness is the best revenge…
1. Forgiveness is the best revenge because there is nothing more infuriating to someone who would deliberately hurt you, than you moving on with your life and being happy.
What happened? : My boyfriend of two years cheated on me. I forgave him and I thought that because I had forgiven him, I should take him back. He cheated on me again. I was devastated and hurt and broke up with him immediately. I now hate him, I hate myself fo being such an idiot, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to forgive again. Forgiveness didn’t work for me.
Take revenge! : Forgive him again. Don’t get confused and think that forgiveness means that you have to take him back- it’s not so. True forgiveness actually has nothing to do with condoning the behaviour of a cheating ex. It’s all about you. The extent to which you are willing to forgive is simply the extent to which you are willing to keep giving your cheating ex control of your suffering.
Forgiveness = Taking Control.
When you forgive, you acknowledge that you have been hurt, and you make the choice that hurt will not continue to define you in the present. Of course, you are entitled to grieve when you have been hurt; let yourself get mad, get it all out of your system, and when you’re done, visualize the offender in your mind and say. ‘I forgive you. I release you. I release myself from your control.’ (Go here for more on positive affirmations.)
2. Forgiveness is the best revenge because you’ll live a longer and healthier life.
What happened? : My mother abandoned me as a child. She left when I was 3 years old and I never saw her again. I have felt bitterness towards her all my life. I have often thought about hurting her the way she hurt me. I don’t think I could ever forgive her.
Take revenge! : For a moment, lets forget that this is about your mother. Let’s forget that forgiveness is about anyone or anything outside of yourself. I want you to think about yourself only. Forgiveness is a process that you can go through to bring peace, contentment and physical wellness to yourself. Being in a constant state of unforgiveness is really bad for your health. The emotions associated with unforgiveness cause chemical, hormonal and immune changes in your body which, over an extended period of time, can make you physically ill. Don’t let the past ruin your present and future health. Forgiveness is as much an important part of your healthcare routine as brushing your teeth and eating well! Forgiveness benefits your health in a similar manner to kindness. For an in-depth look at the science behind the health benefits of forgiveness and kindness, head over to Dr David Hamilton’s website.
3. Forgiveness is the best revenge because when you forgive, you take back your own power.
What happened? : My ex-boss was such a bully. Every day he made embarrassing remarks to me and singled me out from the rest of my colleagues when he felt like taking out his rage on someone. I put up with this for 5 years before being made to feel so miserable that I had to leave a job that I essentially loved. I’ll never forgive him for that.
Take revenge! : When you choose to forgive, this is the best kind of revenge because you re-empower yourself. This empowerment comes from recognizing that you have a choice: You can choose to continue to feel hurt, resentful and angry, or, you can choose to take responsibility for your reaction and work on being a person who forgives, even if it is difficult. Recognizing that you have a choice is truly empowering. Bullying is a terrible thing and it is understandable that you would find it difficult to forgive- but ‘finding it difficult’ to forgive is a whole lot better than having no choice at all. You can always make the choice to forgive and release all the tension and anxiety within you, that is embodied by unforgiveness. When you choose to forgive a bully, you release yourself from the feeling of victimization and you can begin to heal. What could be more empowering than that? Give yourself love and positive acknowledgement when you are able to forgive, it is a big ask.
What happened? : I got scammed! Someone hacked into my bank account and withdrew all my money 4 days before Christmas. I have 2 kids and if it hadn’t been for the generosity of friends and family, Christmas would have been ruined. These soulless thieves left me broke. The people who did this have never been caught and I’m having difficulty forgiving because there has been no justice.
Take revenge! : Forgiveness is the best revenge here because when you forgive, you make space in your heart for two very important questions. First, did you learn anything from this experience? Second, (and this is a hard one!) Is there anything positive that you can take from this experience? If you can forgive, you will be able to see what can be learned. Forgiving, here, has nothing to do with forgiving bad actions, you are using forgiveness for you. Can you imagine forgiving stealing to the extent that you are able to see something very precious in the experience? Visualize having a conversation with the thieves. In your mind say: ‘I forgive you. I know you act out of fear. I wish you love and I hope that you can overcome the things that make you afraid.’ If you are able to do this, you will discover within yourself, that you can protect yourself from future hurts simply by deciding to be a person who forgives. You can choose to be a person who forgives no matter what, and in doing so, you protect yourself from future hurts which are deepened and extended by unforgiveness. Practice forgiving now and you will be able to cope, forgive, and move on in future. Forgiveness can only make you stronger and less fearful when applied in this way…try it!
5. Forgiveness is the best revenge because it really is the cure for feeling sad, angry, frustrated and hurt.
What happened? : My father passed away several years ago. We weren’t on good terms because he was largely absent from our lives when my brother and I were kids. The times when he was around, he was violent and angry. He never apologized or admitted his mistakes and now that he’s gone, I still can’t forgive him. I don’t believe he was sorry and now I’ll never know.
Take revenge! : Some people who hurt you cannot apologize because they have passed away. Some people who have hurt you will not apologize for various reasons. If forgiveness was dependent on the apologies of others, human beings would have blown the world up already. Think of forgiveness like the antidote to a poison. It doesn’t matter how much someone in the past has tried to poison you with anger, hurt, fear, bad behaviour, selfishness, insensitivity etc., you can choose to administer the antidote at any moment. Let that moment be now.
Until Next Week: Practice forgiveness whenever you can. Start with the person in the mirror. You deserve forgiveness, you are a good person, you don’t need to be so hard on yourself. Look in the mirror, put your hand over your heart and say, ‘I forgive you’.
Saw something particularly horrible in the news? Close your eyes and say ‘I forgive you’. Get familiar with what it means to forgive, what it feels like, and why it’s important.
Have you had any inspirational experiences with forgiveness? Is there something that you have struggled to forgive? Comment below- I’d love to read what you have to share.
Next Week: G is for ‘Ghosts’. I will be conducting a video interview with a very special guest. We will be discussing many aspects of ghostly phenomena…not to be missed!
Come and gimme some love over at:
Get your daily love and happiness tweets @angellassie
A is for AFFIRMATIONS: How they work and what to do when they don’t.
It was 2009-2010 and the recession was at its lowest ebb and so was I. For the first time in my adult life, I was without employment. My happiness levels and funds were as depleted as the job market, and I was unable to provide for myself financially. So I gave up my flat and moved in with my sister in an attempt to staunch my bank account’s number haemorrhage.
‘I’m never going to have enough money,’ I thought. ‘I’m never going to get a job that pays enough…there’s a recession, there are no jobs…I’m going to be in debt forever…my debts keep piling up’.
These were my affirmations and I practised them religiously. Day after day, these were the promises I was making to myself. I worried about money all the time, I talked about having no money all the time, and I convinced myself that my situation was never going to change. I was convinced that I was being judged as a failure, but really, no-one was judging me except myself.
I came to believe passionately in poverty, and with every day that I was without a job I thought: See, this is proof that I’m always going to be poor. I didn’t realize at the time that my own limiting beliefs were making a challenging situation much, much worse. I was unable to see that I was lucky to have a sister who’d let me stay with her, and that I was getting to spend more time with my family. I couldn’t see it. I believed only in the ‘bad’ elements of my situation, and I received what I believed.
This went on for months, and my cycle of negativity had evolved into a downward spiral. Despite my negativity, I secretly held on to the hope that I’d be happy again. One day, this hopeful thought managed to force its way into my mind, like a glimmer of light, noticeable amidst the pervasive darkness. The thought that I might one day be happy again dawned on me, like the sun cracking over the horizon and dispersing an inky black night:
What if it’s my thoughts, and not the recession, that’s causing me to feel so unhappy?
When this realization dawned on me, the grip of my inner lack-narrative weakened. Previous to this, I hadn’t considered that what went on in my mind could affect the outside world. But as soon as I made the connection that my negative thinking was causing me to pick out only the events that would justify my beliefs, it resonated through me with the sort of chime achievable only by truth. I knew that for my financial situation to improve, I had to stop thinking so negatively about it.
A few days after I made this new promise to myself, I was visiting a friend in Edinburgh. As I left the train station, I noticed a bright white piece of paper loosely lodged in a crack in the pavement. It fluttered back and forth in the wind, as if it was waving to me. The street was busy, and yet no one had noticed it. As I got a few steps closer, I couldn’t believe my eyes: the piece of paper waving at me was a £20 note!
I picked it up and laughed. It was more than a £20 note, it was a symbol of change. ‘Thank you’, I thought.
An affirmation is a proposition that you think or say repetitively because you believe it to be true, however it is actually the repetition of the thought or statement that convinces your mind that it is true. The process that you go through to convince yourself of the truth of a given statement is unbiased, it works the same whether the content of the proposition is positive or negative.
We are making affirmations all the time. Your life is the sum total of the beliefs you affirm. And you hold those beliefs because, in repeating them, you have assimilated them into your consciousness. Your consciousness adapts to comfortably hold the beliefs that seem true to you. The fact that you are reading this post probably means that you have spontaneously made many negative affirmations about yourself over the years. It has taken you a long, long time to believe what you do. So when you realize that you no longer identify with the beliefs you hold about yourself, it can take time and effort to change. What would you rather think about yourself and your life? Give those beliefs the same repetition that you gave the beliefs that you don’t want, and you will harness the power of the belief–>justification–> belief cycle. Having said that, it can be very difficult to change your beliefs because some beliefs are not under your conscious control. The mind is a miraculously complex entity that can hide nuggets of belief in your subconscious or in half-forgotten memories. For more on this, see my post B is for ‘Belief’. Sometimes, positive affirmations don’t work because the new affirmation comes into conflict with a deeply entrenched belief. When we try to affirm something that is opposed to a deep-seated, subconscious belief, the ‘superficial’ affirmation is not strong enough to change one of our core values, even if, consciously, we really want to change. And when it doesn’t work, we beat ourselves up even more because we failed to change, gave up, or lost the will to do our affirmations, and so the spiral of negative affirmations begins again. If this sounds familiar, try this:
To access the negative core belief and bring it to your conscious mind, ask the belief questions. Interrogate your negative belief. Listen to it and understand it. For example, say you constantly affirm that you are unloved and unwanted. On a conscious level, you know that this belief is crippling you. So you choose a new thought: I am desired and loved. You say it over and over, you write it out and stick it to your fridge, and the magic words are your laptop wallpaper. You work with the new affirmation for a few months and yet, you feel very little difference, and any difference you do feel is undermined by a voice within that chases the affirmation with a ‘yeah right, who could ever love you?’ You don’t really believe this crap do you?’ And you’re right back to square one. This will happen to many people who want to use the power of affirmations to change their outlook. Don’t beat yourself up if it happens to you. When you have a quiet moment, write down the negative affirmation that is deeply true to you. Take a few deep breaths and meditate on questioning the belief. Some good questions are:
Why do I hold this belief?
Is there a specific event that was the initial trigger for this belief?
Are there examples of times when this belief was true, when I felt unloved and unwanted?
Are there examples when the opposite was true, when I felt very loved and desirable? What did that feel like?
What does it mean to me to be ‘loved’ and ‘desired’?
Is there a way that I could love and care for myself more to help this new belief become true?
By questioning your belief, you change your relationship to it, and in so doing, you unsettle its ‘true’ and ‘logical’ place in your belief system, thereby making room for new beliefs. This method takes time and effort as you are trying to rewire your mind without the instruction manual! But keep with it, you’ll extinguish, or at least manage it, eventually and when you do, you will benefit so much from a more positive and empowering set of truths.
Some affirmations are easier to believe than others because we believe that some things are more accessible to us than others. You may feel that a new car is much more accessible to you than true self-love. It is only the fact that you believe that that makes it so (inception, anyone?) The only scale of difficulty in embodying positive beliefs is dictated by our beliefs about difficulty of attainment.
Here are some ‘positive affirmation’ ideas to get you started…
‘I’m sick of being fat, my cellulite is ruining my life!’
‘I love my body. My body is trim, beautiful and radiates with health.’
‘I’m never going to find love, why do guys always treat me like crap!?’
‘I love myself. I am loving, loved and loveable.’
‘*sigh* I hate my job, no one appreciates me. I know I’m being underpaid.’
‘I am inspired by my job. My efforts are rewarded and I am well paid.’
‘Why I am always skint? I hate having no money to enjoy life.’
‘I earn ______enter amount here (I suggest £100,000, or why not a cool million?)_____ per year and I love my life!’
I would be so happy to read your positive affirmations. Leave me a comment by clicking on the bubble at the top right of this post.
Thank you for reading! Until next week, enjoy exploring the You-niverse!
Next week: ‘A is for Angels’.