Continued from Life Crafting Series: Affirmations -1
5) Memorable. Affirmations are usually short and sweet, straight to the point if they are specific. This should make them easy to remember and use. Although an evocative, even poetic, quality may make them more memorable to some people, it is more important that they help clarify your true intention and reflect your central goal. If your affirmation seems too long, consider dividing it in two or three. For example, a long affirmation such as “From this day on I do everything possible to be the best employee in the company and earn the trust of the powers that be,” it’s actually less useful than “Today I give my best effort,” and “Each day I earn the trust of my supervisors.” You could use a mix of long and short though: read the long one in the morning and before going to bed, and remind yourself of the simpler version along the way. Is your affirmation memorable enough? Decide and re-write if need be.
6) Certainty. Affirmations work from a place of certainty, of knowing that, at an intellectual/spiritual level, that change in material reality that you are seeking already exists; it has already happened. What affirmations do is to open a path between the bushes and help guide you to your destination . So faith is paramount when working with affirmations: faith in yourself, your potential and, if you are so inclined, in your idea of Spirit. Just as important as faith are patience and constancy, to let the waters of life settle down and show you the big picture. Write down any ideas that come to mind in reference to your affirmation and certainty. Is certainty a challenge? Do you have a support system that could help you build certainty? Could you “fake it until you made it”?
7) Feelings. Affirmations work best when you evoke intense feelings. Think of the joy, the power, the relief, the satisfaction that is invoked from living within the frame or state of mind stated by the affirmation. Then say the affirmation out loud, colouring the intonation with such feelings. Read your affirmation. What feelings does it seem to suggest? What feelings do you think would make it more powerful and real? Can you evoke these more powerful feelings as you read or say your affirmation? Write down your thoughts.
8) Intonation. Try changing the emphasis from one word to the next: i.e. the first time you say it, you put emphasis in “I” and then the second time in “am” and see what different layers of meaning this change can bring. Frame the intonation as if it was a question: I am getting better and better? And then answer it with a resounding: Yes! I am getting better and better! Say your affirmation using different intonations. How did it feel? Which intonation(s) did you find more helpful or powerful?
9) Repetition. Bruce Lee once said, “I fear more a man who has practised the same kick 10,000 times than a man who knows 10,000 kicks.” Sometimes we fall into the temptation of collecting affirmations as kids collect football cards. While it is good to have a “repertoire,” let’s remember that the function of the affirmation is to spiritually and/or intellectually program an idea in us. If you see all those 1s and 0s from the computer language as measures of time, you may get an idea of what I’m trying to say. Affirmations need repetition and constancy. Although there’s no hard and fast rule about how much you should repeat an affirmation, I would suggest to work with one, two at the most affirmations a month or five a trimester.
There are many ways to work with affirmations. You could repeat them for 5-10 minutes each day, like a rosary or mantra. You could carry them with you and read them, out loud or silently, a few times a day. You could meditate on them. You could write them in a journal (let’s say three lines each day). Or you could do a combination of all of the above. Because of the need for repetition, it is wise not to work with many affirmations at the same time. You could have a general affirmation for well-being and confidence, and 1-3 short ones for specific goals you are working towards at a specific time. This will be the case when mixing long and short affirmations. Say your general affirmation in the morning and in the evening, and your goal-oriented affirmations throughout the day. Consider your affirmation. How many times a day do you think you could comfortably repeat it? Would you rather just say it or combine verbal expression with reading, remembering and writing?
To be continued.