The Art and Science of Affirmations



You may already have an opinion about affirmations. If it’s a negative opinion, I probably agree with you. I’ve been working up my own approach to affirmations which you don’t know about because I haven’t told you yet. If it sidesteps all my affirmation objections, there’s a good chance it’ll sidestep yours.

I start from this premise: affirmations can be good if what you’re after is personal transformation. That’s you, changing your mind and heart, on purpose and in particular, with no magic and no techniques that don’t require effort or self-understanding.

You’re a mass of habits, angel voices, devil voices, impulses that want you to be happy and healthy and worthwhile, and impulses that want to ruin your life, annihilate you and leave you slobbering and twitching in the metaphorical gutter. We are all such a mass. (This is all analogy and metaphor, so don’t get all technical or theological about it.) And there’s a part of all of us that is clear-eyed and attentive, that understands our potential, our deep and secret ambitions, and all about our weaknesses and fears and self-sabotage schticks.

Taking on a project of self-transformation is a gesture toward owning your own life. There’s a subtle conception in the air that there’s “no user-serviceable parts” inside. We’re already what we’re like and it’s better not to be messing about with the internal wiring. And, yes, self-help and therapy and NLP and a buncha other things seem to be all about changing the wiring. But there’s some kind of line affirmations cross that makes them seem somehow subversive. Your experience, your inner life, belongs to you. You’re taking a radical stance of ownership despite the many forces out to colonize, inhabit, co-opt and manipulate your feelings and thoughts and time. Your life belongs to you. You have to the right to transform it for your own reasons. And by taking that stand, you open yourself to whatever forces in the universe are on the lookout for the opportunity to render you aid.

This is really Affirmations 101, so we’ll hit some high points call it a day.

Here’s the kinds of affirmations which, according to me, have a good chance of actually working. Try some affirmations which:

Visualize a desired outcome. A plausible outcome that your choices and behavior can actually bring about. These affirmations are to remind and inspire you, to help you to keep your eye on the prize.

More and more people will be happy to see me, hear from me, work with me.

My desire to have a positive effect on the world will be fulfilled.

Remind you of a real principle. The more your choices and behavior are based on fundamental, positive principles, the more you’ll be engaged in positive transformation.

I can step away from negativity.

I will avoid undesirable consequences by not accumulating their causes.

Affirm your intention. To help you focus on what you want to dedicate yourself to, the end which, depending on what you do, might or might not happen in real life.

I will not let negativity spoil my life.

I will act from what’s deepest and truest in me.

Reinforce your strengths or boost your confidence. It’s pretty easy to forget about what’s finest in you. Since those parts will lead the way to your transformation, value and empower them.

I have within me a calm confident loving and capable [man / woman / person.]

I am a talented and passionate human being.

Promote sweet smelling states. The more time you spend in positive, reasonable, constructive parts of yourself nurturing good attitudes, thinking, and feeling, the better.

I can relax and be open to love.

I can locate and try to live from real gratitude.

I’m going to bring this first installment on affirmations to a close. I’m going to pursue affirmations, and I hope there are people who will get some good from them. I know that I’m starting to feel some positive effects from my own affirmation practice.

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