Jean Anne Costa
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Gratitude

Affirmation:  I am filled with hope, curiosity, and awe, a sense of adventure, gratitude and compassion.  Some qualities are emotional and some are traits.  Traits need to be developed and cultivated.  I think the ones in this affirmation represents the best of traits, the ones that I am working on cultivating.  This Thanksgiving was a great time to practice the trait of gratitude.  I believe most of us probably looked at our lives this weekend and truly felt a sense of gratitude for all we have.  A friend of mine recently returned from a volunteer trip to Ecuador.  The first thing she emailed to me was how grateful she was to be living in the United States.  But what about other days?  How often do you take the time to look at your everyday life and find the things you can be grateful for?  I have one friend who lists three things every evening before bedtime that she is grateful for.  I believe if we take the time to be thankful on a regular basis for even the small things, eventually we will be able to be thankful for all of our life experiences even the ones that at first may seem more like trials.  At least that’s my hope.
“When it gets dark enough, you can see the stars.”  said Charles A. Beard

Contentment

Affirmation:  I am content. 
Well, there’s one I need help with.  It seems to be in my nature to look at what’s next.  Do you think it has anything to do with our society, with advertising?  Or, is it simply most people’s nature to be looking for more?  Sarah Susanka asks: “How do you know when it’s enough?”  I guess for me, that means how do I know I’ve got enough, done enough, seen enough?  Content.  How do you develop that quality? 
I visited an adult retirement community this morning.  It’s a very nice facility.  My mom lives in the independent living section.  I bring communion to both her building and the area that has assisted living and the Alzheimer’s unit.  I must admit I find it unsetltling.  I wonder what my old age will be like, if I have one.  For me, it truly tests my affirmation to let go of fear and to live in Faith.  There are many different personalities and I get to meet many of them.  But, one woman in particular captured my attention and admiration this day.  She wasn’t going anywhere for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday but she wasn’t the least bit angry or upset about it.  She told me she was very content with the way things are for her.  I asked her if she had a secret.  How did she maintain her positive attitude?  Would I be like her or would I be annoyed that my family had deserted me?  If there was a secret, I wanted to learn it.  She told me she placed her faith in God.  She believed in His care for her; that He loved her and let all the rest go.  “I am content.”  Every time I visit, I learn something I am sure will support me through this journey we call life.  Today I was gifted with the vision of someone who has found peace through her faith.  Peace!

Spiritual Being

Affirmation:  I am a spiritual being having a human experience!
Recently someone mentioned the Oprah segment about “John of God.”  I’ve been Tevoing Oprah’s last season because I thought she might have some really interesting segments and so I was able to go back and watch the program about this man who appears to be a healer.  He’s from Brazil.  I use the word “appears” because it was really very different from any experience I’ve ever had.  It was certainly completely removed from the parameters of Western medicine.  I’ve heard other stories about healers.  I’m sure you have too.  But, I’d never watched something like this.  If you get a chance, check it out.  I think she also has an article about it in this month’s magazine.  The thing that made the greatest impression on me was what the visiting American physician said at the end.  He spoke about it being a “life changing experience” for him.  He said after being with John of God (a name he does not use for himself) he believes we are so much more than we appear.  We are all very special.  We are all amazing beings, capable of wondrous things and there is so much we don’t understand and haven’t even touched the surface of.  I believe that too.  Affirmation:  “I am a spiritual being having a human experience!”  What would be different for you if you believed that?  Would you be more open to unexplained phenomena, to miracles, to a Higher Power’s influence?  Would it improve the quality of your life?  Do you think we are all capable of healings?  Do you think they happens everyday and we just don’t recognize them?

Change

Affirmation:  I embrace change. 
Recently a group of friends and I had the opportunity to discuss change.  How do we deal with it?  What are our strategies?  Do we generally like it or are we resistant to it?  Of course, by the simple fact that we all like to have these esoteric type of discussions, you might be led to believe that we all embraced change at every opportunity.  Well, while we do seem to have more of a tendency to be open to new experiences than maybe some others, we found that we deal with changes differently, depending on what type of change it is.  I am sure you realize there are small changes in our lives and big changes; there are also changes we initiate and changes that are forced upon us.  Do you think it helps a person to examine their general reaction to change in case one is faced with something unexpected?  I decided that for the next few weeks, I would simply notice how I respond to change.  I feel we are faced with nothing but change; every moment is different than the last one.  Change is actually a constant in our lives; just look in the mirror, there is the proof.  Today, I’ve noticed that not one thing has gone according to my “plan.”  So it’s a perfect opportunity to see how I respond to making changes. Actually, it’s been a great day!  I headed out to visit a friend in the hospital.  She wasn’t in her room.  She was having a treatment done that would take several hours, so I decided to run an errand for my daughter.  I called her and she invited me to join her and her brother and his wife for their lunch hour.  Great!  The rest of the day has been filled with the same type of rescheduling but it’s all been really nice.  So, I guess for today, I’m fairly flexible with respect to change, I’m adaptable, and really, all that matters is today.  Don’t you think?

Celebrating

Affirmation:  I celebrate my accomplishments and my disappointments.
One of my affirmations used to be: I celebrate my accomplishments and let go of my disappointments.  It sounds good, don’t you think?  But, then I went to a lecture about Enneagrams.   I found that I was someone who mainly looked at the upside of things.  I didn’t like focusing on the things that weren’t too pleasant.  It didn’t take long to realize how right they were.  I remember thinking how lucky I was that the radiation treatments I received for breast cancer were taking place in the spring.  Why, you might ask?  Well, I live in a part of the country that is breathtakingly beautiful during the spring.  The Dogwood trees alone would be enough to decorate the landscape but we also have Red buds and Azaleas and Forsythia and bulbs galore.  It has never ceased to amaze me how beautiful it is here in the Spring.  I mentioned this to someone once, about being glad my drive to radiation was during the Spring.  They told me they thought I’d find a reason to be grateful for the drive regardless of the season.  Oh, yes, that’s my mode: find a way to give things a positive spin.  I guess that’s why this blog is called Creating Positive Affirmations.  But, after that workshop, I changed my affirmation.  Now I write: I celebrate my accomplishments and my disappointments.  I don’t want to miss or dismiss any of my life.  I want to embrace all the experiences.  I mean, all of them have had a direct impact on who I am, what I value and what I want the future to be like.  Without valuing the disappointments, how will I fully appreciate the accomplishments?

Sexy

Affirmation:  I am Sexy.
This week there was an article in USA Today that talked about a study done to help women increase their sexual desire.  Yes, I know, many of you are probably asking who would even want to have an increase in desire; just leave me alone!  But, obviously, there are many many women, because this study involved several hundred of them.  As in most studies there was a control group.  This group was told they were taking a “magic” elixir which would do all they would hope it would do.  It was a placebo.  Can you guess what happened?  Most of these women had a definite increase in their level of desire.  This study took place over several months and their levels did not decrease.  I don’t know if they were ever told it was a placebo and for all I know they are all still out there enjoying themselves without knowing  it’s all in their minds.  What else is just in our minds?  What else can we change to our benefit by simply believing it is true?  That’s the purpose and secret of positive affirmations; say it as if it already is; believe it as if it’s already true.  Fake it until you make it!  It’s without a doubt a great way to live your life.  Sexy?  Well, if that’s one of your intentions, go for it.  If hundreds of women can feel that way by simply taking a sugar pill, certainly it’s available to those of us who simply choose to believe it to be true.

Love

Affirmation:  (1) My life is Joy filled, Miracles occur, Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.  (2) I am fully open to love, both human and divine.
Actually, this title could be “Loving Oneself.”  How many women do you know who would say they love themselves?  It seems to me, that most women have a lot of difficultly valuing themselves.  Most of the discussions I have with my friends are about ways to increase our self esteems especially as we grow older.  In one of the books I read the author said she was great at giving out love, but realized quite late in life, that she didn’t readily accept love.  I remember once saying to a friend that when I received compliments, affection from people who liked me, I had a tendency to discount the comment.  Her tongue-in-cheek response was, “Sure, don’t take to heart the things people say who love you.  It’s much better to listen to those who don’t like you.”  And, then there was the comment about how my reaction was like a slap in the face to the person talking to me.  It was like saying, “You are so stupid!  What do you know?”  So, those two comments offered me a lot to think about.  I decided it was OK, healthy to accept the love offered to me.  I am so lucky to have people in my life who do love me.  And, then too, I realized I also have beings not of this world who must love me.  I am sure my deceased father and grandparents love me.  I am sure there are other guides and Angels who deeply love me.  And, my faith tells me that God loves me, that God is love.  So, I have focused several of my affirmations around self-love.  (1) My life is Joy filled, Miracles occur, Love surrounds me and permeates every aspect of my existence.  (2) I am fully open to love, both human and divine.  The truth is, until I full accept the love that is available to me, I will never be able to love the way I really want to: without judgement, unconditionally and non-grasping.

Resilience

Affirmation:  I invite God’s divine healing light into my mind, body and spirit; creating a state of total well being.
Several months ago, I visited my Chiropractor and our discussion turned to healing one’s self. She spoke to me about how the beliefs we have concerning our health have a direct impact on our state of well being, or ill being.  She and her assistant have a practice they use to make life changes.  She explained that not only did she find a phrase or sentence to affirm the change, but they also took time to visualize it.  I left with a new found sense of power.  I had been struggling for years with a sore hip and here I was being told, I could change that by thinking differently about it.  I’ve been practicing affirmations for years but truth to tell, I never thought about re-framing the ache in my hip.  Then, I was led to re-read John Sarno’s book: Healing Back Pain.  There it was again, the same message.  How you think about your body, your health, has a direct effect on its state.  At one point in the book, he says that you either believe the theory or you embrace it simply because you’re so desperate for relief.  I happen to fall into the first category. I know one must be careful believing we are fully responsible for everything that happens to us. It can lead to a blame the victim mentality. But, I choose to think I am responsible for almost everything that happens to me.  However, sometimes forces beyond our control overcome our best intentions. It makes me feel better.  Then, just the other day, I read where people who think of themselves as resilient have fewer health problems.  I wonder if they have fewer problems all together?  But, the message was clear.  How you think has a direct impact on how you feel.  Affirmation:  “I invite God’s divine healing light into my mind, body and spirit; creating a state of total well being.”  If that’s too long, try this one:  “I will not allow my brain to cause my body pain.”

Categories

Affirmations can be divided into categories. How do you see your life? Do you think of it in terms of God, family and work? Maybe you think of it in terms of relationships, career and social? How about spiritual, physical and material? Some days, I divide my life into mind, body and spirit. Yes, some days. But however I divide up the affirmations, one aspect is always true. They are all about me. Most of my affirmations begin with the word “I.” Even when the focus is about relationships, they revolve around what I am trying to affirm with regard to MY relationships. Perhaps, it’s about valuing my friends, loving a difficult person, listening compassionately or giving generously of my time and talent. Maybe the affirmation is all about love: “I love unconditionally, non-judgmentally and non-graspingly.”  Yes, I’m working on improving the quality of my relationships but the focus is on me. And, isn’t that OK? It begins with me. If I can change myself for the better, won’t that help others? If you did the same thing, how would that change the world or at least your world?

Faith or Fear

Affirmation:  I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.
I recall the first time I heard the phrase; Faith or fear.  It was in a sermon at a church I was visiting.  It was one of those moments when I felt the light go on.  I knew exactly what he was talking about.  I had a choice.  How was I going to live my life?  Well, I decided right then and there, I was not going to have my life’s choices dictated by fear.  And, I have been deciding that every day, ever since.  I have had to make it a meditation.  Deciding was the easy part; making the choice, putting it into practice, well, that’s a whole other story.  I am a cancer survivor.  One of my physicians graciously told me that the cancer wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do; it was a “random act of violence.”  In one way, that gave me a lot of comfort.  I didn’t need to find blame either within or without but it meant that I was vulnerable to the whims of the world and with that thought, I found I felt unsafe.  It left me fearful.  I wondered what else was going on inside my body that I was totally unaware of?  And, I was afraid.  Once again, I was faced with finding a way to live with Faith and to let go of the fear.  That’s where my original affirmation about fear came from:  “I let go of fear, anxiety and shame.”  It’s evolved over the years.  I not only focus on the letting go of those emotions that don’t serve me; I now focus on strengthening my Faith.  I have several affirmations that I say to increase my sense of well-being; to make me believe that no matter what is happening, I am alright because my Faith is strong and helping me stay in a good place.